Autism New Jersey Welcomes Director of Clinical Initiatives

February 15, 2022

Will Lead Newly Launched Healthcare Initiative

Autism New Jersey’s dedication to providing families and professionals with up-to-date and evidence-based education and resources is greatly enhanced as we welcome new Director of Clinical Initiatives, Lauren Frederick, M.A., BCBA.

Prior to joining our team, Lauren spent the last twenty years using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to improve the lives of individuals with autism in a variety of positions and settings. She started her career as a direct support professional in school and community settings, and after becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2003, she rose to several leadership positions in private residential programs. Her most recent roles involved functioning as an ABA and autism expert for large healthcare settings and funders.

Lauren’s experience working directly with individuals with autism, particularly those with severe challenging behavior, as well as providing ongoing clinical supervision to other professionals and BCBAs, will bring an enhanced level of expertise to our education and training initiatives at Autism New Jersey.

In addition, Lauren’s substantial experience with healthcare settings allows us to launch a new programmatic priority, our “Advancing Healthcare Initiative.”

The last two years of the COVID pandemic brought the healthcare needs of individuals with autism into stark relief as evidenced by the tremendous need for our vaccine clinic and the steady stream of calls to our 800.4.AUTISM Helpline. Families and individuals with autism regularly tell us of their difficulty finding healthcare services that meet their needs – from the most routine to the most complex care. Fortunately, healthcare professionals are an educated and motivated workforce who – when provided with the right information and resources – would be willing to adopt more autism-friendly practices.

This initiative will leverage our “power of connection” to create meaningful partnerships with and among healthcare systems, hospitals, and community healthcare providers to:

  • identify areas of need
  • share clinical expertise
  • enhance healthcare professionals’ knowledge and skills
  • facilitate healthcare systems’ development of sustainable processes

Through these activities, our goal is to increase successful interactions, treatment, and outcomes for individuals with autism.

Our initiative will be statewide in scope and inclusive of individuals with autism, families, healthcare professionals and systems, and other stakeholders. The first phase will focus on information gathering and relationship cultivation. Future phases will be strategically determined in response to the challenges, capacities, and priorities that emerge.

As Lauren recently shared, “For many years, I’ve respected Autism New Jersey and the invaluable support the agency provides to the autism community. I am honored and enthusiastic to work alongside such seasoned professionals in a shared mission and lead a healthcare initiative as it is a critical component of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of individuals with autism.”

“Autism New Jersey believes that high-level collaboration, transparency, and coordination of efforts will greatly improve healthcare outcomes for individuals with autism. Lauren’s proven track record and outcomes-driven approach make her the ideal person to lead this initiative,” said Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Executive Director.