Ohio State offers specialized primary care services for teens and adults who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other complex disabilities.

Headquartered in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Hilliard, the Center for Autism Services and Transition (CAST) offers clinical services for adult and transition-age-youth patients with autism.

For patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and their families, CAST is the answer. It is the only place in central Ohio — and one of only a few places in the nation — where patients can access multiple services in one setting from physicians with the experience to provide comprehensive care for adults with autism and to treat their related, often complex healthcare needs.

CAST was created in 2014 with funding from Bill and Marci Ingram’s commitment to autism research and care at The Ohio State University.

 

The mission of the Department of Internal Medicine is to improve the lives of people through innovation in research, education and patient care. Our vision is that in working as a team, we will shape the future of medicine by creating, disseminating and applying new knowledge to meet the needs of each individual.

Learn more about CAST's funding and other statistics in this informational flyer (PDF)

 

Available Services

Available Services

Available Services

  • Primary care with physicians who are board certified in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and are trained to care for youth and adults of all ages. CAST physicians have experience working with youth and adults with autism and provide outreach, training and education across many health domains.
     
  • Experienced medical assistants who support CAST physicians and patients in obtaining height, weight and vitals during exams. Medical assistants also help patients during lab draws and procedural care.

  • In-house psychiatry related to medication consultation and management.  

  • A dedicated nurse to assist with medical questions during and after office visits. Patients and their support team may contact the CAST nurse regarding medication refills, follow-up recommendations from appointments, and referral guidance when in crisis. 

  • A dedicated social worker to help patients achieve and maintain goals related to their health as well as participation in work and community life. New patients will complete a specialized intake process to familiarize them with the clinic, assess their needs and customize their clinical experience. Patients may see the social worker during regularly scheduled appointments with providers. Patients are encouraged to schedule 60-minute care coordination appointments to address their individual goals. 

  • Clinical pharmacy consultation for medication questions and medication monitoring.

  • In-office lab and procedural care, which can be challenging for some individuals with autism. CAST is committed to working with patients to complete common clinic procedures, such as blood draws, EKGs and blood pressure.

  • CAST is committed to education and support that involves patients in shared decision-making and goal-setting, supporting self-advocacy and mastering the skills needed to maintain lifelong health.

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach

The Center for Autism Services and Transition (CAST) offers a variety of Medical and Transition Education Sessions (MATES) for parents and professionals. Please join us for a discussion on…

STABLE ACCOUNTS: Enrollment is now open for STABLE Accounts, the nation's first savings plan for people with disabilities. With the creation of a STABLE Account, eligible participants are able to save money, invest money and spend money on qualified expenses such as health care, education, housing and transportation – all without affecting participants’ eligibility for benefits programs like Medicaid and SSI.

Topic: STABLE Accounts

Date: Nov. 1, 2017

Time: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Place: Ohio State University Internal Medicine

3691 Ridge Mill Drive, Hilliard, OH 43026

RSVP: By October (Limited Seating)

To register, please send an email with your name and session title to: osucast-communityresources@osumc.edu

 

CAST Family Advisory Council

The Family Advisory Council acts as an advisory committee to CAST to ensure that the needs of the individuals and families are met through a variety of initiatives, including transition assistance and education, quality improvement and community outreach. For more information on the FAC or to inquire how to become a member, email osucast-communityresources@osumc.edu.

Patient Resources

Videos

What to expect: Blood pressure

Here's what a patient with autism can expect during a blood pressure testing procedure at a CAST facility.

What to expect: EKG

Here's what a patient with autism can expect during an electrocardiogram (EKG) procedure at a CAST facility.

What to expect: Blood draw

Here's what a patient with autism can expect during a basic blood-draw procedure at a CAST facility.

Personalized Approach

Personalized Approach

Personalized Approach

CAST is committed to a model of care that provides longer appointment times to accommodate the needs of patients with autism.

New patients are scheduled for intake appointments that allow CAST staff to meet the patient and determine their levels of need and support. Meanwhile, the new patient gets to meet our staff and see the clinic prior to their first medical appointment.

CAST is currently accepting patients ages 16 to 35 who need primary care and have a diagnosis of autism.

New patients coming to the CAST clinic can expect a 60-minute appointment. These longer appointment times are necessary to allow for:

  • effective communication of healthcare needs with the patient and patient-support teams
  • processing the steps of exam procedures, such as blood pressure tests, EKGs and shots, which may be new experiences for the patient
  • addressing related conditions of patients with autism, such as trouble sleeping, gastrointestinal issues and struggles maintaining a healthy weight

Established patients are offered 40-minute follow-up appointments.

CAST patients are encouraged to contact the clinic to discuss accommodation needs prior to appointments.

All CAST patients have access to MyChart, a great way to communicate with the clinic.

Our Doctors
Related Articles

Related Articles

Our Unique Center Provides Healthy Transition for Adults with Autism:

Since 1987, the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has skyrocketed more than 1,100 percent. According to recent statistics, the U.S. spends $11.5 billion dollars a year on everything from educational programs to medical therapies for children with ASD. But what happens when these children become adults? “Unfortunately, they often get lost,” said Dr. Christopher Hanks of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “For children, the care is fairly structured around them, but as they move into the adult-based care settings, these patients can really struggle and all too often are forgotten,” said Hanks. 

 

Ohio State University Opens New Transition Program

(August 12, 2014) - The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is opening the Center for Autism Services and Transition (CAST), a new program to help young adults with autism gain independence on their transition to adulthood. According to OSU, CAST is one of only a few clinics in the country to provide care coordination and primary and specialty care services for adults with ASD.

“We want to provide a place where they can come for medical care knowing that we have an entire staff who truly understands their needs,” said Dr. Christopher Hanks, a physician at OSU Wexner Medical Center who provides primary care for adults with ASD and the medical director of CAST.

Read More



Ohio State University program helps adults with autism thrive

Braden Gertz is an early childhood education specialist, and a swimming instructor. The 24-year-old is also living with autism.

"It's hard living on your own because you don't know what to do for yourself," said Gertz.

Dr. Christopher Hanks, a pediatric and internal medicine specialist at Ohio State University, says only about 10 to 15 percent of adults with autism are able to live independently like Braden.

Read More


New Program At Ohio State Aims To Help Autistic Children Transition Into Adulthood

Braden Gertz is a 24-year-old man with autism. He is also a student at Ohio State and a swimming instructor. What makes Braden unique is that he lives on his own and teaches children with Autism, just like him. “I take down the chairs, clean up the table, set out the cups, and I set up some snacks,” Gertz explains.

In just a week, he will have seven new students starting his class at OSU's Nisonger Center. He makes up lesson plans and sets up activities all on his own.

Dr. Christopher Hanks at Ohio State knows Braden is a success story and wants to see more successes. That is why the hospital recently opened the Center for Autism Services and Transition, also known as CAST.

Read and Watch More


Publications

Nathawad R1, Hanks C. Optimizing the Office Visit for Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs. 2017 Aug;47(8):182-189. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Aug 26.

Bates K., Nourie C.E., Hanks C., and Friedland, A. Legal Options, Challenges and Insights in Supporting Young Adults with Disabilities. SGIM Forum 2013; 36(4): 6, 13.

Book chapter

Care of Adults with Chronic Childhood Conditions: A Practical Guide; Editors: Pilapil, M., DeLaet, D.E., Kuo, A.A., Peacock, C., Sharma, N. (Eds.); Addresses the unique healthcare needs of adults with chronic childhood illnesses (2017)

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