Family-Based Autism Mental Health Services

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412-798-6870 or
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Family-Based Autism Mental Health Services offer a nontraditional, community-based approach that works with the strengths and resources of families in their homes and neighborhoods. This treatment is for families caring for children and adolescents with emotional problems, behavioral problems, and autism spectrum disorder. These services help to enhance behavior skills, family strengths, facilitate collaboration among systems, and achieve continuity of care.

The primary purpose of this service is to keep families together and reduce the need for out-of-home placement. The program also may be used as a step-down treatment to help families stabilize and reunite when a child returns from hospitalization, foster care, or another placement.


Program participation by the child and family member is voluntary. Parents or guardians must be willing to work actively with the treatment team. Families and their team develop a crisis plan. The family receives the crisis pager number during their first session. Program services include:

  • Family therapy
  • 24/7 crisis prevention and intervention
  • Advocacy
  • Case management
  • Family support services
  • Applied behavior analysis


The treatment model is considered brief, although treatment can last up to 32 weeks. There are several parts to the treatment model, including:

  • Services are delivered by a team that uses structural family therapy and applied behavioral analysis to help the family achieve the changes they would like to see. The team approach enhances continuity of care, offers flexible scheduling to families, and works to achieve goals through creative problem solving and behavioral interventions in collaboration with the family.
  • The team works with families to develop realistic treatment goals.
  • Families are linked with the most appropriate professional services and community supports.
  • The team collaborates with families and other service systems through routine meetings.

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Pittsburgh, PA, USA |