Project Highlights

The Philadelphia Autism Project seeks to better understand and address the diverse needs of this growing population and ensure Philadelphia maintains its status as a top city for people living with autism and their families.

Seed Award Projects

The Philadelphia Autism Project and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative Eastern Region released seed money to address their goal of impacting underserved and underrepresented populations living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the city of Philadelphia by engaging individuals, groups, faith-based or grassroots organizations.

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Reaching Underserved Populations

Seed money applications to develop projects and programs for Philadelphia children, adolescents, and adults living with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families were made available on March 2nd, 2015. By engaging individuals, groups, faith-based or grassroots organizations, seed award projects will target underserved and underrepresented populations living with ASD and will create opportunities for individuals and families living with ASD to participate more fully in community life.   Over 30 applications from locations all over the city of Philadelphia were submitted. 

Seed award projects  Autism videos


Creating Centralized Resource Hub

Online: The website for the Philadelphia Autism Project serves as a centralized, accessible hub of resources for individuals with autism and their families, as well as providers and community members.  The development of an accessible centralized location for individuals with autism and their families was a top priority throughout all of the Philadelphia Autism Project stakeholder meetings.  The website for the Philadelphia Autism Project provides Philadelphia-specific resources, while also connecting to resources available to all Pennsylvanians through www.paautism.org, including the ASERT Resource Center available by phone (1-877-231-4244) or email (info@paautism.org), in English and Spanish. 

In Person: The Philadelphia Autism Project is working with the Free Library of Philadelphia to implement a variety of programs and services throughout the city with the goal of creating physical resource hubs. There are sixty-one library branches located all over the city offering a wide range of resources that are beneficial to individuals with autism and their families including access to computers and the Internet and a potential space for community meetings, events, trainings, and activities.   Additionally, the Philadelphia Autism Project, ASERT, Elwyn, and the Free Library of Philadelphia are debuting a series of ground breaking family-focused films at Philadelphia library locations.

Specialized Trainings for Philadelphia Organizations, Families and Community Members

In an effort to increase the knowledge base and awareness of autism spectrum disorders, the Philadelphia Autism Project offers tailored trainings and education to professionals, family members, individuals with autism, and members of the community.  Training areas include, but are not limited to: ASD 101 overview, and focused topics including employment, justice system and the education system. 

Justice System Trainings: The Pennsylvania Autism Census found that justice system contact among individuals with autism in Philadelphia increased from 2005 to 2011. To learn more, a statewide survey of justice system professionals revealed the depth and breadth of training needs in Philadelphia and across the state.  The most requested training topics included how to communicate with individuals with autism, how to navigate challenging behaviors related to autism, and systems and services available to individuals with autism.   Target audiences include probation, parole officers, police officers and judges.  Additionally, an ASD 101 component has been added to the Philadelphia Police Department Crisis Intervention Training. 

Training Requests: Tailored trainings are available upon request.  If you would like to request a free training, please contact ASERT@drexel.edu.