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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.

    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. Thank you to everyone who attended the 2014 conference from June 10-12. Click here for more information about next year’s conference, to be held June 9-11, 2015. 

    Bureau of Autism Services Family and Individual Mini-Grants

    The Bureau of Autism Services, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, was pleased to offer mini-grants in 2014 to support children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and families that include an individual with ASD. The application period ran from February through March 2014, with approved activities occurring between March and August 2014.

    A focus of this project was 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). 1179 individuals and families were supported through the 2014 grant opportunity.

    Pennsylvania's Adult Autism Programs

    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. Additional information about the application process for each program can be found by clicking the links below.

    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.

    BAS Adult Programs Overview

    Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP)

    Adult Autism Waiver

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

    Adult Autism Waiver Services & Supports Directory: The Adult Autism Waiver Services & Supports Directory (SSD) lists all Adult Autism Waiver providers and is searchable by service and/or county.

    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.

    Click here for a copy of the original Pennsylvania Autism Census Project Final ReportIn addition, you can visit the ASERT website to access comprehensive findings and other information about the 2014 Autism Census Study Update.

    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