Presented by

University of Maryland School of Medicine, partners launch autism centers for adults

People with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities often have few places to go for diagnosis and treatment when they are no longer children. The University of Maryland School of Medicine and others plan to announce Friday that they have created a set of centers specifically for adults.

With $500,000 in state funding to launch, the school, the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance will operate two centers to provide evaluation, care and treatment for disorders that also include epilepsy, intellectual disability and tuberous sclerosis complex.


“These new centers will focus on the needs of adults,” said Dr. Peter Crino, professor and chair of the school of medicine’s neurology department, who will serve as the director of the centers.

“It is a critical service that could ultimately change the lives of many in need, who have gone undiagnosed.”


Officials, including Gov. Larry Hogan, plan to announce the centers Friday evening. They will be known as the University of Maryland Center for Adults with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center of Maryland and will serve patients in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Care will be provided at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute in Baltimore and also through telemedicine.

Under the plan, the centers will coordinate with the region’s two centers for children, the Wendy Klag Center for Autism at Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, to identify patients and provide continuing care when children age-out of services.

Officials saw a need because the disorders affect many people in Maryland and beyond.

For example, one in 59 U.S. children has an autism-associated disorder, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Maryland, it’s one in 58. The disorder can cause social, communication and behavioral issues.

Tuberous Sclerosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors and is often linked to autism. About one in 6,000 children in the United States are born a day with tuberous sclerosis complex, according to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

“By opening these new centers, we are taking an important step forward in connecting people with doctors and services to help them overcome challenges that may be keeping them from living life to its fullest potential,” Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, said in a statement. “Under Dr. Crino’s leadership, the new centers will fill a critical gap in services and allow for better diagnosis, treatment and care.”