Autism spectrum disorders (including autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and Asperger’s Disorder) affect about one out of every 150 children. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders often have problems with communication and social interaction. Most people with an autism spectrum disorder also have very unusual or intense interests or engage in repetitive or stereotypic behaviors.
The Bureau of Autism Services established three regional Autism, Services, Education, Research and Training Centers (ASERT) in December of 2008. ASERT is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and centers’ mission is to improve access to quality autism services and interventions, provide information and support to families, train professionals in best practice approaches for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and facilitate collaboration among providers of services throughout the commonwealth. The regional centers are not a place but a partnership of medical centers, centers of autism research and services, universities and other providers of services that are involved in the treatment and care of children, adolescents and adults living with ASD.
The Pennsylvania ASERT centers are located at:
- Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC in western PA
- University of Pennsylvania, eastern PA
- Penn State Hershey Medical Center, central PA
The Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders is one of 15 national locations of the Autism Treatment Network and serves as the Western PA ASERT Center. The center provides state-of-the art service to individuals and families, conducts quality research about the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, and offers extensive training opportunities to health care professionals. The care through the center includes family, group, and individual therapy, inpatient services, diagnostic services, and early intervention programs.
Programs and Services for Children
The most effective treatment and care for people with autism spectrum disorder starts in early childhood. Treatment may start as young as 18 months. The Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders has a range of programs and services for children, including:
Programs and Services for Adults
The Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders has a range of programs and services for adults, including: