Lead Psychiatrist: Eric Samstad, M.D.
The Autism and Special Needs Clinic provides comprehensive mental health services for adults over the age of 18 with psychiatric illness and mild to moderate intellectual disability or developmental disabilities. In the past, psychiatric illness was often unrecognized and untreated in people with intellectual disability. There is a general agreement today that people with intellectual disability are more likely to suffer mental illness. The program was designed to meet the unique and complex needs of this patient population and is committed to providing expert assessment and treatment.
Special Needs Clinic
Community Psychiatry Program
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Mason Lord Building East Tower, 2nd Floor
4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224
Phone 410-550-0776 / Fax 410-550-1748
The program provides outpatient evaluation and follow-up treatment by the psychiatrist and primary therapist. Treatment offered includes:
- Individual and family therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Group therapy (anger management, coping skills, self-awareness)
- Behavior modification
Records from previous psychiatric and medical providers and relevant laboratory and diagnostic testing should be forwarded to the Special Needs Clinic prior to the initial visit. Special Needs Clinic therapists provide family and caregiver supports in addressing issues related to care, guardianship, and entitlements. Case management services are available in some cases. A psychiatric rehabilitation program (Champions Group) provides services for those patients with major mental illness who might benefit from training in vocational and social areas.
A multidisciplinary team consisting of psychiatrists, nurses, mental health and social work therapists, case managers, and psychiatric rehabilitation therapists staff the clinic.
Eric Samstad, M.D., Lead Psychiatrist
Carol Orth, MA, DTR, LCPC, Clinical Supervisor
To make a referral to the Special Needs Clinic or for more information, please contact Carol Orth, MA, DTR, LCPC., Clinical Supervisor:
Phone: 410 550-0776 / Fax: 550-1748
We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and other commercial insurance.
Intellectual Disability is defined in individuals having a measured intelligence quotient below 70, beginning before age 18, and adaptive behavior deficits in at least two of the following 10 areas:
Use of community resources
Ability to make decisions
Health and safety
Academic skills such as reading, writing, and math
Developmental disabilities are physical or mental impairments that appear before the age of 22, are likely to continue indefinitely, and result in substantial limitation in the individual's daily functioning. Specific and lifelong extended care is usually required. Individuals seen in the Special Needs Clinic have psychiatric illness along with other physical impairments such as cerebral palsy, or cognitive impairments such as mild to moderate intellectual disability. Outpatient psychiatric treatment in the Special Needs Clinic is also provided to those with autism spectrum disorders and genetic syndromes such as Downs, Fragile X, and Prader Willi.