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    Autism Services
    Welcome to the Bureau of Autism Services, Office of Developmental Programs. The information shared in this site is intended to communicate the Department of Public Welfare’s efforts to enhance the quality of life and independence of Pennsylvanians with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and to support their families and caregivers. Please scroll through this page to learn about the work we are doing to help families and adults with autism in the Commonwealth. 
    We are committed to hearing your questions, suggestions and feedback about our initiatives.

    You can contact us or call the Bureau of Autism Services at 1-866-539-7689.

    Mailing address:
    Department of Public Welfare
    Bureau of Autism Services
    P.O. Box 2675; 605 Health and Welfare Building
    Harrisburg, PA 17105

    Bureau of Autism Services Mission and Values
    Bureau of Autism Services - News and Updates

    Bureau of Autism Services Upcoming Events

    The work of the Bureau of Autism Services was initially guided by the recommendations from the Autism Task Force. Click here for the Executive Summary of the final report that was released in December 2004.

    Upcoming Free Statewide Training Opportunity

    The Bureau of Autism Services, ODP is pleased to announce that registration is open for the following free training opportunity for Pennsylvania’s Direct Support Professionals: Autism Spectrum Disorder Seminar, provided by the Bureau of Autism Services Clinical Team.
    This training is designed for: Professionals providing direct supports and services in Pennsylvania, including, but not limited to: nurses; home health aides; other medical staff; mental health clinicians; direct support staff within Pennsylvania’s service delivery systems. (This training is not designed for supervisors or other professionals with extensive experience supporting individuals with autism.)
    For more information, including the seminar description, information about continuing education awarded, and how to register, please click here.

    PA Autism Training Conference (PATC)

    Each year the Bureau of Autism Services hosts a training conference to increase the capacity of professionals skilled in supporting individuals with autism and their families. In 2014, the conference will also include sessions geared for adults on the spectrum interested in self-advocacy. Click here for more information about this year’s conference, to be held June 10-12, 2014. 

    2014 Bureau of Autism Services Family and Individual Mini-Grants

    The Bureau of Autism Services of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is pleased to announce the availability of mini-grants to support children and adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and families that include an individual with ASD. Learn more...

    A focus of this project is to reach out and serve individuals and families that are not able to access existing support systems for various reasons (for example: eligibility criteria, age, waiting lists). The term “family” may include an immediate family member or other relative, a person providing foster care or a legal guardian or custodian, but does not include a person or entity who acts in a paid employment capacity. These grants are funding opportunities that will only be offered once and are time limited. The full application packet including the application, instructions to apply, and frequently asked questions is available to download and print off of our website.

    In order to be eligible, applicants must:
    1. Be a Pennsylvania resident.
    2. Have a family member with autism (of any age) or be an individual with autism.*
    3. Not be currently receiving any family support services (including Base Funding) for the past 12 months.
    * Family members can submit an application on behalf of their family member with autism but cannot apply on behalf of themselves or for family members that do not have autism; the only exception is for respite.
    How do I Apply?

    The full application packet including the application, instructions to apply, and frequently asked questions is available to download and print by clicking here: 2014 BAS Mini-Grant Application Packet

    Mail your completed application and supporting materials, which may include brochures, printouts from the Internet, statements on sponsoring organization letterhead, or statements of cost to the address on the application packet.

    The deadline for submission is March 31, 2014. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 31. Applications which are faxed or e-mailed will not be accepted. BAS cannot be responsible for applications returned for insufficient postage, delayed or lost in transit to our office. Incomplete and illegible applications will not be considered for funding. Please be sure that your application is signed and complete with all necessary documentation attached. BAS cannot be responsible for applications completed or submitted by a third party such as a case manager, BSC, etc.
    Applications are due (postmarked by)March 31, 2014
    Notification of awards sent by mail on a rolling basis beginning on or about:May 1, 2014 (on or about and continuing until June 30, 2014)
    Activities must occur between these dates:March 1, 2014 and August 15, 2014
    Dates during which Reimbursement Activities must occur:March 1, 2014 through August 15, 2014

     What if I have questions?

    Please see the Frequently Asked Questions, FAQ, included in the Mini-Grant application packet. If your question is not answered on the webcast or in the FAQ, e-mail or call the Mini-Grant Help Line, 1-717-425-5689.

    If you do not have Internet access or printing capabilities, requests to mail paper applications can be made after Feb. 3, 2014 by calling the Mini-Grant Help Line at 1-717-425-5689 or by email: Please include and spell your name, complete mailing address and a phone number with area code.

    Pennsylvania's Adult Autism Programs

    Adult Autism Waiver

    Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP)

    The Bureau of Autism Services administers two programs for adults with autism, the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) and the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP). These two programs are the first of their kind in the nation, and are designed to help adults with autism live in their communities the way they want to, based on their identified needs.
    Applications will be sent until the programs reach capacity. Requests for applications will be processed for each program in the order they were received. This will be based on the date and time individuals first called the toll-free number to request an application for that program.

    If you think you may be eligible, or know someone who might be, you are strongly encouraged to request an application. To request an application for either program, you must call toll-free in PA: 1-866-539-7689.

    Applications may not be requested by email and are not available on-line.

    Please click here for information about the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) or the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP), including program overviews, eligibility requirements, the application process, services, and provider networks.

    To view/download the latest version of the PA Adult Autism Waiver, click here: PA Adult Autism Waiver

    Adult Autism Waiver Services & Supports Directory

    Autism Services, Education, Resources & Training Collaborative (ASERT) 

    The ASERT Collaborative (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training)  is a key component of the Bureau of Autism Services’ strategy for supporting individuals with autism and their families throughout the Commonwealth. Each regional ASERT is charged with addressing the needs of their entire region, including the needs of the most rural regions of the state and the most under-served populations. It is our vision that ASERT will connect existing resources and pockets of expertise, and address the regional gaps in effective services and supports. The priorities of ASERT are driven by the findings of the PA Autism Needs Assessment study

    Connect with ASERT’s resources by visiting or calling toll-free in PA: 877-231-4244.

    Pennsylvania Autism Census Project

    In 2005, the Bureau of Autism Services commissioned a census study in Pennsylvania, and the study was updated in 2013. According to the study, in 2005 there were close to 20,000 Pennsylvanians living with autism. Given trends and projected numbers from the census update, we estimate that there are over 55,000 children and adults in PA with autism.

    It is estimated that there are approximately 8,395 adults with autism (21+) in Pennsylvania today (2013). Preliminary data from the census update indicate a 181% overall increase of individuals with ASD in PA from 2005 to 2011 and a 334% increase of adults (21+). This dramatic upward trend is expected to continue, with a projected number of adults reaching over 30,000 in 2020.

    For a one-page overview of the updated findings that you can print and share, please visit For comprehensive findings, please go to the Pennsylvania Autism Census Project Final Report. An updated report will be released in the spring of 2014.

    Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment: A Survey of Individuals and Families Living with Autism

    The Pennsylvania Autism Census Project provided a global understanding of how many children and adults in Pennsylvania are living with an autism diagnosis. In order to better meet the complex needs of the growing number of individuals with autism, the Bureau of Autism Services recognized that it is important to have a deeper understanding of specific needs of children and adults across the lifespan, on a local level. The statewide Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment was designed to provide this information.

    The information collected from the survey is intended as a roadmap for policymakers, service providers, community organizations, and advocacy groups, to guide the development and implementation of effective services and the efficient use of resources. It is our hope that the results of this study will serve to increase the quality of life for people with autism regardless of their age, where they live, or what systems they are supported by.

    Each of the topic reports includes an in-depth analysis of the data, as well as a set of recommendations. To review the reports, and other information about this study, please visit the ASERT website.

    Virtual Training & Resource Center (VTC)

    The BAS Virtual Training & Resource Center (VTC) is is an online platform that hosts free virtual trainings and other resources for professionals. It is primarily used by:
    • Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) providers accessing required and supplemental trainings
    • ACT 62 Behavior Specialist Licensure (BSL) applicants interested in trainings that can be applied toward the 90 hour requirement
    • Professionals accessing the BAS Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) required post-test and online trainer workshop
    Individuals, families and other professionals interested in regional resources and training opportunities are encouraged to visit the ASERT website.
    Housing Report: Housing Options for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    In September 2008, the Bureau of Autism Services appointed a Housing Options Committee and charged them with assessing and identifying housing options for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. In their "Housing Options For Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder" report, the committee details a first-ever, comprehensive look at the housing challenges and makes recommendations designed to increase housing options for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. To review this very important report, click here. 

    PA Autism Insurance Act (Act 62)
    Autism Resources