Special Services

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability with symptoms that appear early in a child's development. ASD is characterized by the primary symptoms of:

  • Impairment in communication and social interaction;
  • Restrictive and repetitive behaviors/interests; and
  • Hyper- or hypo-activity to sensory input.

Children with autism also may exhibit delays in many other areas of development, however, such as fine and gross motor skills, adaptive functioning and overall language development. Individuals also may experience challenges in learning and behavioral/emotional regulation.


  • Developmental and behavioral pediatrics and child and adolescent psychiatry consultation and medication management services for children diagnosed with ASD and associated mental and behaviorial health challenges.
  • Early childhood and pediatric rehabilitation services including evaluation and treatment of children's motor, language, self-care (adaptive, sensory processing and regulation skills).
  • Family and individual psychotherapy services for behavioral, emotional and adaptive skill challenges often experienced by children diagnosed with ASD and their families/primary caregivers.
  • Interdisciplinary developmental and behavioral clinics where children may receive a range of developmental evaluations by different providers, in areas such as communication, movement, cognitive abilities, medical history, behavior and family functioning.
  • Psychological and neuropsychological evaluations of children and adolescents for the purposes of diagnostic clarification and evaluation of cognitive, adaptive, behavioral, social and emotional functioning.

Behavioral Problems

Excessive worry and sadness may be signs that a child is experiencing emotional problems.

Hyperactivity, aggressiveness or inattentiveness may be signs of childhood behavioral problems. Family or school stresses also may result in a child who can't sit still, who hurts others or who has repeated wetting or soiling accidents.

Some children have problems at home, school, with friends, family or even with the police. We work to determine if a child's behavior is out of the range of normal.

Our child psychologists and clinical social workers can determine if a diagnosis should be made. If so, we offer ideas to help the child and family deal with the behaviors.

Counseling directed at the child and family often is very helpful.


  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Parent-child therapy, include Triple P
  • Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)

We also consult with schools and agencies. Sometimes medications are used to treat behavioral conditions.

Child Traumatic Stress

Children experience stress in coping with family conflict, divorce, changes in schools and living situations and peer pressure.

When stressed, some children may become irritable, withdrawn, cry or become aggressive. Others may complain of physical pain, have difficulty sleeping or be fearful.

In most cases, children overcome feelings of stress and learn to cope with difficult situations. For some, however, stress interferes with their daily life, a situation known as traumatic stress.

What is Child Traumatic Stress?

Trauma occurs when a child experiences an event that causes or threatens harm to his/her physical and emotional well-being.

Those who experience traumatic stress have been exposed to one or more traumas and develop reactions affecting their daily lives even after the events have stopped.

If your child has experienced a traumatic event that is affecting him/her academically, socially, physically or emotionally, we can help.

Developmental Delays

Developmental delays in children may be marked by problems with speaking, hearing, walking, coordination, learning, toilet training, sleeping or playing, for example.

To assess and treat developmental delays, we have a variety of child-focused professionals on staff, including:

  • A developmental pediatrician who focuses on all aspects of a child's development and health
  • An occupational therapist who focuses on fine motor development, hand-eye coordination and sensory issues
  • Physical therapists who focus on gross motor development, large muscles, balance and strength
  • A speech therapist who focuses on a child's speech, feeding and hearing
  • Psychologists who focus on a child's learning and intelligence
  • Social workers who focus on helping a child and family cope with difficult circumstances and develop healthy relationships.

Emotional concerns, Family Issues, Counseling

Children, like adults, can feel strong emotions like sadness, worry or anger. These emotions are normal, but sometimes can feel overwhelming and can last for a while.

We offer evaluation and services to children and families to help understand a child's emotions and figure out ways to manage them.

Family Issues

Children can experience problems with behaviors or emotions because of family difficulties or mistreatment by others.

Divorce, violence, abuse, drug/alcohol or mental health problems of a family member, or ongoing family conflict, can strongly impact children.

They can become sad, moody, worried or have problems paying attention or managing angry feelings.

We can help children and families talk about problems and develop a plan for how to help children through a difficult family situation.


Counseling can help a child and family address behaviors and emotions that are causing problems at home or at school.

Counseling is sometimes offered to a child individually and often may include involvement of one or both parents so they can learn ways to help their child.

Very often, counseling is offered jointly to a child and parents and may include other family members.

Family counseling can help families work together, communicate better and learn new ways to reduce conflicts and provide a safe and healthy environment for their child.

Sometimes children need further evaluation of their behavior, emotions or development and can be referred to other services at our center.

School and Learning Concerns

One of the most important aspects of childhood is regular education.

Public, private and homeschool programs help children learn essential skills, but school experiences and learning also form the foundation for developing future job skills.

For many children, psychological or learning difficulties interfere with this goal.

We help children with behavior and learning problems that interfere with school progress by offering:

  • Comprehensive evaluations of behavioral or psychological difficulties that interfere with learning. The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic provides a combined medical, family and psychological evaluation of children with complex needs.
  • Psychological consultation to schools to help staff and faculty start programs for children with learning and behavior problems.
  • Psychological evaluations to assess behavior or learning problems interfering with a child's adjustment to and success in school.
  • Psychology and social work therapy services to help children and families develop coping skills, handle problems at school and develop healthy relationships with peers and adults.
  • For children age 0-5, our Developmental Evaluation Clinic assesses movement skills, language, behavior, health and cognitive abilities and recommends services to help children.

Other Specialized Services

You will find specialized services that are provided on an individual and consultative basis after referral by your child's primary care physician.

The family is actively involved through participation in treatment activities and ongoing instruction regarding ways to promote skill development at home.

Services are coordinated with other care providers. Consultation to schools and other agencies is available on a limited basis to:

  • Collaborate on programming
  • Recommend environmental modifications to promote learning
  • Train staff on therapeutic interventions and assist them in obtaining adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, mobility aids and special seating

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Available for children birth to 13 years
  • Medical and developmental follow-up
  • Psychopharmacology evaluation and management

Developmental Evaluation Clinic (DEC)

  • Available for children from birth through age 7
  • Addresses concerns regarding development and behavior, including autism
  • Family-focused, comprehensive developmental evaluation by an interdisciplinary team

Early Intervention and Pediatric Rehabilitation Services
Speech Therapy Services

  • Available for children birth to 18 years, with primary focus on birth to 7 years
  • Oral motor and feeding evaluation and treatment
  • Speech and language evaluation and therapy

Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic (PBMC)

  • Available for children ages 3 to 13
  • Comprehensive interdisciplinary evaluation by a psychologist, developmental pediatrician or child psychiatrist.
  • Addresses complex psychological, medical and neurological problems that affect behavior and emotional adjustment or result in problems functioning in family, school or community

Pediatric Psychology & Social Work Services

Pediatric Psychology Services

  • Available for children birth through adolescence
  • Behavior management
  • Counseling
  • Family-based intervention
  • Neuropsychological evaluation through adolescence of neurologically impairing conditions that could adversely affect adaptive function
  • Psychological evaluation of emotional, behavioral and social adjustment, cognitive abilities and learning

Clinical Social Work Services

  • Available for children birth through adolescence
  • Assessments and other consultations and counseling
  • Individual and family-based counseling to address child's emotional and behavioral concerns and enhance healthy communication, interaction, coping and problem-solving in home, school and community

Pediatric Rapid Evaluation Program

  • Devoted to meeting the medical and psychological needs of children in foster care
  • Children are seen only upon referral by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Physical and Occupational Therapy Services

  • Available for children birth to 18 years, with primary focus on birth to 7 years
  • Motor functioning evaluation and treatment for children experiencing delays or for children with disorders that impair motor control, limit mobility, affect sensory processing and reduce participation in self-care and manipulative skills

Contact Us

Phone: (207) 623-6500
Fax: (207) 621-5504