Category Archives: Autism

“When the Police Stop a Teenager With Special Needs” – The New York Times

“People with autism or other special needs may repeat words, avoid eye contact and run from authorities.”


by Michele C. Hollow

“A man in his mid-20s regularly roams the streets of my small town in the middle of the night. He looks angry and doesn’t communicate clearly.

“Not everyone living in the area knows him. But the police do.

“‘His father reached out to us,’ said Sgt. Adrian Acevedo of the South Orange, N.J., police department, ‘to tell us his son is blowing off steam, has special needs, and won’t make eye contact or listen to us. If we didn’t have this information, we could mistakenly take him for a burglar.’

“All of South Orange’s police officers are aware of this man’s disability. His name, his parent’s phone numbers, and brief details about his special needs are on file at the South Orange Police Office.”

Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times.

SAVE THE DATE! Pennsylvania Advocacy & Resources for Autism & Intellectual Disabilities CONFERENCE April 14/15 2020 (PAR)

par conference

 Registration is now open for the first-ever 2020 PAR Policy Conference, taking place on April 14 & 15!

As our environment has become increasingly political, advocacy for Intellectual Disability/Autism services is a necessity.

Our legislators and elected officials need to hear from us now more than ever.
We need every stakeholder in the system, from providers to individuals to family members, to be informed and prepared to advocate!

Our 2020 PAR Policy Conference is designed to bring you up to speed on hot topics in policy and advocacy and provide an opportunity to practice those skills by advocating directly to our legislators at the Wednesday Hill Day and Rally.

Autism Navigator for Early Intervention Providers: Knowledge and Skills

autism Knmowledge skills

“The Autism Navigator for Providers – Knowledge and Skills Course is a 30 hours of training.

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) have partnered to offer the following training opportunity to IBHS/BHRS Providers who serve young children and their families; The Autism Navigator for Providers: Knowledge and Skills Course.  This opportunity is being offered at no cost during 2020 for up to 500 Behavioral Consultants and Mobile Therapists.  It is only available until December 2020 and  consists of 60 hours of training 30 hours of training.

For further information and to enroll, please see the above letter and this (below)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Pennsylvania Early Intervention Technical Assistance Sponsored Enrollment Autism Navigator for Early Intervention Providers
Online Professional Course



Volunteers sought for autism research study

autism study

Here is information about an opportunity to participate in a research project through Penn State Health/Penn State College of Medicine Hershey that may be beneficial to you or someone you know. The project is called PARSEC, which stands for PArticipation in Rural Settings to Engage in Communities. PARSEC is a research project; it is voluntary and certain criteria for eligibility may apply.

PARSEC is a program for young adults (ages 18 – 25) diagnosed with ASD, and is a one-year program designed to see if participating in a telehealth intervention compared to receiving no intervention results in young adults with ASD doing more in their community. The young adult with ASD will be required to have an individual that knows them well (typically a parent, guardian, family member) that we call the natural supporter. The natural supporter will also be asked to fill out surveys about the young adult with ASD, as well as surveys about themselves. PARSEC is a randomized controlled trial. This means that not everyone who signs up for PARSEC will be entered into the intervention.

50% of people who enroll will be randomly assigned to receive the intervention. These individuals will participate in 15-minute, weekly phone calls or online meetings with a coach. Both the young adult with ASD and the natural supporter would need to be available for weekly phone calls/meetings. In addition to the phone calls, there will be videos on a PARSEC channel online for viewing and missions you will be asked to complete weekly.

50% of people who enroll will be assigned to receive treatment as usual, which will include monthly emails individualized for you with information on things you can do in your community.

If you or someone you know may be interested in participating in PARSEC, please contact the Psychiatry Department Research Assistants at 531 – 0003, x285543 or email Jayde Nagle at They are happy to answer any questions you may have about participating.

Autism Services, Education, Resources, & Training Collaborative (ASERT) provides autism census data

2014 pa autism update

“Pennsylvania Autism Census | The 2014 Pennsylvania Autism Census Update was released in the Fall of 2014 by the PA Department of Human Services, led by the ASERT Eastern Region. The Pennsylvania Autism Census is an administrative count of the number of individuals who are receiving services in public service systems. The 2014 update used data from multiple Pennsylvania systems.

Click here to see the full report.

Data for the 2011 report are shown here:

Berks County

Lancaster County

Lebanon County

“I’m autistic. I just turned 36 — the average age when people like me die.” – Vox

“The stress of living with autism is exhausting.”

autisticVox – Shutterstock

by Sarah Kurchak

“On March 21, 2017, CNN published an article on a new study from the American Journal of Public Health that found the average life span of an autistic person is 36 years. I wasn’t shocked by this news. I know how dire things can be for so many of us on the spectrum, but that number struck me for a very specific reason. I had just turned 35 the previous month.

“Since I learned this news, I’ve been anticipating the milestone of turning 36 with a mix of confusion, dread, and a host of other feelings I can’t quite articulate.”

Read this Vox First Person narrative essay in its entirety, click here.