In 2001, the mother of a son with autism founded the Birchtree Center for Children in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Her goal was to help other local families obtain the specialized education and therapy she once struggled to provide her son.

Birchtree first opened its doors in December 2002 as the first and only school in New Hampshire serving students with autism exclusively. Since then, the number of students with autism in our state has increased dramatically. Today, there are over six times as many students with autism in New Hampshire as there were in 2002.

To meet this growing need, The Birchtree Center increased its capacity, strengthened its expertise, and expanded its programs. In 2007, Birchtree changed its name to “The Birchtree Center” to reflect the expansion of its programs to serve children, youth, and families with autism. That same year, Birchtree launched an Outreach Program serving students, families, schools, and community agencies throughout northern New England.

Today, The Birchtree Center is a multi-faceted autism agency serving hundreds of individuals per year. You can read more about Birchtree’s recent progress in our Community Report.

The Birchtree Center is named after New Hampshire’s state tree, the white birch. Like the shallow-rooted birch tree, which often grows in clusters to survive, children and youth with autism need to be supported by family and community to grow and flourish.