Local autism resources

  1. ABOARD’s Autism Connection of PA. – ABOARD’s Autism Connection of Pa provides autism support across the state of Pa.  Their services include autism support groups, autism resources and autism conferences and events.  They also provide assistance to parents on where to find autism services, treatments, get a diagnosis and much more.
  2. Associates in Behavioral Diagnostics & Treatment – A group of independent psychologists and professional counselors specializing in assessment and treatment of neurobehavioral disorders for children, adults and families. Services include early learning developmental testing, autism spectrum, ADHD/ADD, wraparound and learning disability evaluations.
  3. Demystifying Autism From the Inside Out – William Stillman is an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome who has written a number of books and has given numerous presentations on autism. His message of reverence and respect has touched thousands nationally through his acclaimed autism workshops and private consultations.
  4. John Merck program – specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. The Merck Program also provides services for children and adults with a multitude of disabilities such as blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.
  5. Watson Institute – website includes a searchable database of questions and answers delivered by experts in the field to provide valuable information for families and educators.


General autism information

  1. The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP): Bureau of Autism Services (BAS), Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Autism Services, Education, Resources, &Training Collaborative (ASERT) – compiled a guide of online trainings and resources.  This guide (referred to as LANTERN Lifespan Autism iNstruction, Training, Education, and Resource Navigation) houses trainings for professionals, individuals and family members.
  2. ASERT – developed BeSafe training for abuse and victimization in the autism population. Be Safe Resource Collection will be comprised of infographics, social stories, eLearning courses and other resource materials focused on the prevention of sexual abuse as well as intervention strategies to support individuals who experience abuse.
  3. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Autism Resource Center – provide resources for families to help find the proper treatment plan that best fits their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Asperger Syndrome Education Network (ASPEN) – ASPEN® is a non-profit organization in New Jersey. They provide families and individuals whose lives are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS, High Functioning Autism), and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: with Education about the issues surrounding the disorders, support in knowing that they are not alone, and in helping individuals with ASD’s and NLD achieve their maximum potential and advocacy in areas of appropriate educational programs, medical research funding, adult issues and increased public awareness and understanding.
  5. The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) – The Autism Science Foundation Channel on YouTube features interview with top autism researchers, ASF grantees, autism book authors and others in the field of autism. The site also includes presentations by ASF pre-doctoral grant recipients including Sarah Hannigen form the University of Pittsburgh.
  6. Autism Speaks (AS) – Autism Speaks’ goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. They fund research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism and raise public awareness about autism. Autism Speaks offers a 100-day kit, which is created specifically for newly diagnosed families, to make the best possible use of the 100 days following the diagnosis of autism. The kit contains information and advice collected from trusted and respected experts on autism as well as from parents of children with autism. For more information, click here Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit.
  7. Autism Research at the NICHD – The NICHD, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is one of several Institutes doing research into various aspects of autism, including its causes, prevalence, and treatments. The goal of this site is to provide easy access to the most current information about NICHD research projects, publications, news releases, and other activities related to autism and similar disorders.
  8. Autism Society of America (ASA) – has resources for the autism community in education, advocacy, services, research and support. ASA accomplishes its ongoing mission through close collaboration with a successful network of chapters, members, supporters and organizations.
  9. B is for Biometrics – Tim Webb’s film A is for Autism delivered a touching insight into what life is like for people with the condition.  A new wristwatch that scans biometric data might open another window into it.
  10. National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) – This center contributes to the National Database for Autism Research NDAR, a secure research data repository promoting data sharing and collaboration among ASD investigators. The following video will give you a better understanding of the goals for NDAR.
  11. ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) – This website provides useful information for individuals with autism living in the state of Pennsylvania and their families. It includes information on Pennsylvania support and advocacy groups, research projects and how to get involved, guides for parents who suspect their child has autism and available age-specific services for individuals with autism.


Autism Signs and Symptoms

Parents of typically developing children as well as parents of children on the autism spectrum were asked to review resources on development, vaccinations, and autism. Parents then provided extensive feedback on the resources, if they considered the information helpful, and if they would like similar information to be readily available at their pediatrician’s offices. All of the families found the following information to be very helpful and we hope you will also find this information helpful. The following links include information for parents as well as professionals regarding early warning signs of autism, developmental surveillance and vaccination information.

  1. What is Autism? – What are autism spectrum disorders and what are the symptoms? – This site provides a brief description of autism spectrum disorders and early warning signs of social, communication and behavioral differences.
  2. Is your one-year-old communicating with you? – The full brochure is available with the purchase of the toolkit, but this excerpt details information about signs of a language delay and the steps your pediatrician may take if a language delay is suspected. Parents who reviewed these materials were given the entire brochure and found this information to be very informative and useful.
  3. Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Resource Toolkit for Clinicians – This site details the resource toolkit available for clinicians. The toolkit can help professionals with identification and continued management of children with autism spectrum disorders. The toolkit is divided into areas that contain an introduction, identification, referrals, physician fact sheets and family handouts.
  4. General Vaccine Resources – Parents reported that they would have liked to have received this information at the time of their child’s vaccine. Parents found this information to be more informative, reader friendly and comprehensive than the information that was provided at the pediatrician’s office.
  5. Autism A.L.A.R.M. – is a list of facts for both parents and professionals in relation to steps to follow when you have concerns about a child’s development. These steps may help parents not only with identification but also with follow-up action.
  6. Centers for Disease Control-“Learn the Signs. Act Early” – This toolkit provides information for early childhood educators and professionals. It lists fun, outdoor activities to do with children who are 3 to 5 years of age, contains information about monitoring/tracking developmental milestones, and suggestions for talking to parents when you suspect that their child may have a developmental delay.


For research trainees

  1. WPIC Clinical Psychology Internship Program – Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine offers an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited internship in clinical psychology.  This program is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science and adheres to a “clinical science” model of training and professional development which emphasized the integration of research and clinical training and a commitment to empirically informed approaches to clinical work.  Dr. Mazefsky is available as a primary research mentor for WPIC clinical Psychology interns.
  2. Post-doctoral Training Programs – The Psychiatry Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine offers a number of post-doctoral training programs and opportunities.
  3. University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry – The Psychiatry Department website offers information on faculty, education and training opportunities, research, clinical care, news, and events.