A father takes his son every weekend to the mall to have some “father-son” time and learn about the world while hanging out. They begin stopping in “The Build a Bear” store and get to know one of the staff who greets them every visit. As the father relates, even though they never bought anything the young staff member became a regular in their lives.

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The Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care (HSC) is an integrated resource providing diagnostic, assessment, therapy services and comprehensive guidance to caregivers, educators and family members across the region. The recently opened in-patient unit is the first of its kind in Connecticut and only one of 10 in the country. The Autism Center at HSC is the nation’s first and only Patient Centered Specialty Practice for autism recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its responsiveness to patients and medical colleagues, cooperation and integration with other healthcare groups and dedication to continuous improvement.