A state-run mobile clinic that evaluated children for developmental disabilities such as autism is closing, and the Vermont Department of Health is now directing families whose children need such evaluations to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.
While some families can get these evaluations — which can take two hours — at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, both academic medical centers have waits of as much as a year.
In the meantime, families and those trying to support them while they await a diagnosis are left to manage children’s behaviors without a complete understanding of what might be causing them.
“I do not have a lot to say beyond how desperate we are for care of our neurodiverse pediatric patients,” Dr. Rebecca Yukica said of the clinic’s closing, which the state’s maternal and child health director announced in a March 21 letter to community partners. “There is a tremendous need. This is an area of great hardship.”