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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects about one out of every 68 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.

Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders

The Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders (CADD) of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital specializes in behavioral health care services for children, adolescents, and adults who have ASD, intellectual disabilities, or other developmental disabilities as well as behavioral health problems.

Programs and Services for Children

The most effective treatment and care for people with ASD starts in early childhood. Treatment may start as young as 18 months. CADD has a range of programs and services for children, including:

Programs and Services for Adults

CADD has a range of programs and services for adults, including:

Autism Treatment Network

CADD is one of 14 national locations of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN). The center provides state-of-the art service to individuals and families, and conducts quality research about the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The care through the center includes family, group, and individual therapy, inpatient services, diagnostic services, and early intervention programs.


The Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP) established three regional Autism, Services, Education, Resources and Training Centers (ASERT) in December of 2008. ASERT is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).

The Pennsylvania ASERT centers are located at:

  • UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa.

The 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 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.

Learn more at the ASERT statewide website.