Worcester-based Behavioral Concepts, which provides care to patients with autism, is adding a Springfield office next month.
BCI, which also has an office in Fitchburg, is expanding to Western Massachusetts with early-intervention services for children up to age 3 and applied behavior analysis services for children over 3. The agency’s 7,200 square-foot space will have the capacity to serve 30 to 45 children.
Autism care has become a larger need in the medical and educational communities as the rates of diagnosed cases has soared in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism spectrum disorder is now believed to affect 1 in 59 children nationally age 8 or older.
Just this year, a $20-million school for autistic children was proposed for Worcester’s Lincoln Square, and Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital expanded with a new autism inpatient care unit it said is the first of its kind in the state, with a capacity of up to 152 beds.
Acquisitions have also been more common, including Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, an operator of centers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, taking over the former Durham School in Fitchburg to serve as a day school for students with autism and other disabilities. Applied Behavioral Associates, a Marlborough clinical and home-based autism services provider, announced this month it has been acquired by Centria Healthcare, a national company based in Michigan.
BCI has already been providing early-intervention services to Springfield-area families through a temporary office in Springfield.
The westward expansion is the latest new initiative for BCI, which said earlier this month it has begun offering continued education as a newly certified education provider in the industry. The agency partners on education programs with Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Bay Path University in Longmeadow and Assumption College in Worcester.