Winter Ball fundraiser spotlights CANDO Clinic

By Bryan Goodchild and Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

December 11, 2013

UMass Medical School’s Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CANDO) Clinic got a big boost at the 2013 Winter Ball on Friday, Dec. 6. The centerpiece of the annual fundraising event sponsored by the UMass Medicine Development Office is the Fund-A-Need auction. This year, the CANDO Clinic, which provides access to comprehensive clinical services for children with autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders, was the beneficiary. Proceeds from the auction will go toward matching funds for a $500,000 donation from an anonymous family.

CANDO was established to address the rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, which now touches one in 50 children. It offers evaluation and treatment services for children with complex needs who are otherwise unable to obtain stabilizing treatment or have long waits to receive services from other centers outside the region. Care and services are provided by an interdisciplinary team of specialists from UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care.

Nathan Mehlhouse was diagnosed with autism at age 5 and has shown significant progress since his parents began taking him to the CANDO Clinic.

“There was a day last year in the spring where it was the first day in his daily communication log that said he had a great day. That was huge,” said Brandy Mehlhouse, Nathan’s mother.

“It’s almost like after he started going to the clinic, they were able to find him, we were able to find him,” said Nathan’s father, Dan Mehlhouse. “We would have moments at night where we would have a real conversation. We weren’t able to find that before.”

Related link on UMassMedNow:
As autism rate soars, early intervention urged