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Resource Center

The ASERT Resource Center serves as Pennsylvania’s leading source for up-to-date and accurate information and resources for individuals with autism, their families, the community and the professionals who support them. Contact the ASERT resource center to speak with a resource specialist who can help you learn how to discover and access resources in Pennsylvania.

When should I contact the Resource Center?

If you have additional questions about information you found on PAautism.org or would like to invite an outreach specialist to attend an event, conference, or support group, someone at the resource center can assist you.

Be sure to visit the following pages below here on PAautism.org to find helpful information. If you still have additional questions, contact the Resource Center.

By phone
1-877-231-4244

Are you located outside of Pennsylvania?
The ASERT resource center is focused on specific resources in Pennsylvania. If you are in another state, the resources specialists will not be able to help you. Please visit the resources section of PAautism.org, as some of the online resources may be applicable to residents of other states.

           

Be Safe Resource Collection

 

 

Individuals with disabilities have a long history of mistreatment, abuse and devaluation. Recent reports indicate individuals with developmental disabilities experience sexual abuse at a rate seven times higher than their non-disabled peers. However, this has been a topic that has received little attention over the years, leading to a significant lack of information and resources for both individuals with disabilities and communities who support them. Fortunately, many of the factors that contribute to the high rates of abuse and exploitation of individuals with disabilities can be prevented when the appropriate knowledge and resources are available. 

In response to these recent statistics, ASERT has partnered with researchers at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. The 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. 

Prevention Resources

These resources are designed to provide information and tips on how to prevent sexual abuse and assault in individuals with autism. There are general resources that are appropriate for all ages and developmental levels, as well as specific resources for caregivers, professionals and individuals with autism. 

Identifying and Reporting Abuse in Children

This resource provides information on types of abuse and what do do if you discover or suspect abuse. 

Risk Factors: Pathway to Victimization

This resource provides information on factors that put individuals with autism at risk for sexual abuse. 

Why is Abuse Not Reported?

This resource provides information on some of the factors for why abuse is often not reported. 

Signs of Abuse or Sexual Abuse

This resource provides information on signs of abuse or sexual abuse. 

Risk and Protective Factors for Abuse and Sexual Abuse

This resource provides information on risk factors for abuse/sexual abuse as well as factors that may protect individuals from abuse/sexual abuse. 

Educating About Sexual Abuse and Assault

This resource provides general information on the importance of teaching people of all ages about sexual abuse and assault. 

What is Sexual Abuse and How Do I Stay Safe?

This resource provides information for school-age children with autism about basic information regarding sexual abuse, such as what it is, who abuses children, how often it occurs and why people sexually abuse children. 

Body Awareness and Body Safety

This resource provides information on body awareness and body safety for school-age individuals with autism. 

Understanding Touch

This resource is developed for school-age individuals with autism to help them learn about different types of touch and rules for their body. 

Understanding Touch and Staying Safe

This resource is for adults with autism and focuses on understanding touch and ways to help them stay safe. 

Talking to Children about Puberty, Sex and Sexuality

This resource provides information for caregivers on how to talk to children with autism about puberty, sex and sexuality as an important step in preventing sexual abuse. 

Teaching Community Safety Skills

This resource provides information for caregivers on how to teach community safety skills to children with autism to help prevent sexual abuse.

Teaching Sexual Health and Safety

This resource provides caregivers information on how to talk about sexual health and safety with adults who have autism. 

Institutional Abuse

This resource provides information for caregivers explaining institutional abuse including warning signs and how to prevent. 

What is Grooming?

This resource provides information for caregivers explaining what grooming behaviors are in sexual offenders. 

Warning Signs of Grooming

This resource provides information for caregivers on warning signs of grooming. 

Teaching Personal Safety

This resource provides information for professionals who work with children with autism on how to teach and address personal safety skills. 

Teaching Self-Determination and Relationship Building Skills

This resource provides information for professionals working with adults on how to teach self-determination and relationship building skills to help prevent sexual abuse and assault.

Screening for Abuse

This resource provides information for professionals working with individuals who have autism on different ways to screen for abuse in adults.

 

Intervention Resources

These resources are designed to provide information and tips on how to provide support to individuals with autism who may have experienced sexual abuse or assault. There are general resources that are appropriate for all ages and developmental levels, as well as specific resources for caregivers, professionals and individuals with autism. 

Linking to Services

This resource provides information on when to get help, finding the right treatment and locating appropriate services for individuals who have experienced abuse or assault.

Mandated Reporters

This resource provides information on who is considered a mandated reporter for child abuse in the state of Pennsylvania, as well as the process for reporting abuse to either ChildLine or Adult Protective Services. 

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This resource provides information on general symptoms of PTSD, as well as symptoms specific to individuals with autism. 

Supporting Individuals  Who Have Experienced Assault or Abuse

This resource provides information about understanding the victim's feelings and supporting the victim after experiencing assault or abuse.

Understanding Sexual Abuse or Assault- Definitions and Perpetrators

This resource provides definitions for sexual abuse and assault as well as information about perpetrators of sexual abuse. 

Understanding Sexual Assault or Abuse- How, Who and Why it Happens

This resource provides information on how often sexual assault or abuse occur, who sexually assaults or abuses others and why people sexually assault or abuse others. 

Evidence-Based Treatments

This resource provides information on evidence-based treatments for individuals who have experienced sexual abuse or assault.

Helping to Prevent Re-Victimization

This resource provides information on how to protect individuals who have experienced abuse or assault from being victimized again.

Tips for Telling About Abuse/Assault

This resource provides information for adult individuals with autism who may have experienced sexual abuse or assault to help them talk about and tell trusted adults about the abuse or assault. 

Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure

This resource provides information for individuals with autism on the importance of self-advocacy and self-disclosure if they have experienced abuse or assault. 

Coping Skills After Experiencing Sexual Assault or Abuse

This resource provides information for adults with autism on common feelings people experience after sexual assault or abuse, coping with feelings and preventing future assault or abuse.

Coping Skills for Sexual Abuse

This resource provides information for children with autism on coping skills and coping with feelings after experiencing sexual abuse or assault. 

Coping Strategies for Caregivers

This resource provides tips and suggestions for helping caregivers to cope after a child or family member has experienced sexual abuse or assault.

Finding and Understanding Treatment for Sexual Abuse/Assault

This resource provides information for parents and caregivers on finding a therapist that is a good fit for your child and knowing what to expect from treatment. 

Trauma and Autism

This resource provides information on symptoms after experiencing abuse or assault, specifically information related to coping and PTSD. 

Providing Treatment for Sexual Abuse to Children Diagnosed with Autism

This resource provides information for professionals on planning and structuring the therapeutic environment and completing assessments for sexual abuse and assault when working with children who have autism. 

Tailoring Evidence-Based Treatment for Individuals with Autism

This resource provides information to professionals on how to tailor evidence-based treatments for sexual abuse and assault to individuals with autism. 

 

Social Stories and Visual Resources:

Relationships, Parts 1-6

These social stories describe different types of relationships that people can have. 

Private and Public Places

This social story explains the difference between public and private places, as well as behaviors that are okay in each setting. 

Understanding Private Parts

This social story explains private parts and when it's okay for other people to see or touch our private parts. 

What is Sexual Abuse: Children

This social story is for children with autism to help explain sexual abuse. 

What is Sexual Abuse: Adults

This social story is for adults with autism to help explain sexual abuse. 

Telling About Sexual Abuse: Children

This social story for children with autism is designed to help them know when and how to tell a parent or trusted adult if they have been sexually abused. 

Home Safety

This social story explains ways to stay safe when you are home alone. 

Community Safety

This social story explains and teaches ways to stay safe when out in the community by yourself. 

Okay and Not Okay Touches

This social story explains the difference between okay and not okay touches. 

Saying No

This social story provides information on how to say "no" when someone is touching you and you don't want them to, as well as what to do if that person doesn't stop. 

Coping with Abuse

This social story provides information on some of the feelings someone may have after experiencing sexual abuse or assault. It also provides tips and suggestions for coping with those feelings. 

Flashbacks and Intrusive Thoughts

This social story provides information on flashbacks and intrusive thoughts that people may have after experiencing sexual abuse and assault and how to cope with them. 

Recognizing Negative Emotions

This social story describes negative emotions that individuals sometimes experience after experiencing sexual abuse and assault and how to recognize them. 

When I'm Uncomfortable

These social stories describe how to recognize when you're feeling uncomfortable and where you can go to be safe if you're in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. 

Abusive Behaviors

This social story is designed to help individuals with autism understand what is considered abusive behaviors. 

Treatment for Sexual Abuse and Assault

These social stories describe what a basic therapy session is like, as well as explaining different types of therapy that is helpful in treating individuals who have experienced sexual abuse and assault such as cognitive behavior therapy, narrative therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. 

How to Tell About Sexual Abuse

These social stories provide information and tips for individuals who may have experienced sexual abuse and assault on who they can talk to and how to tell trusted adults about what happened. 

Why Do People Abuse Others

This social story explains some of the reasons why people abuse other people. 

Using a Urinal

This social story explains some of the unspoken social rules around using a urinal in a men's bathroom.

Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships

This social story explains some of the differences in healthy relationships compared to an unhealthy relationship. 

Who Should Help Me in the Bathroom

This social story explains who should help an individual if they need assistance in the bathroom, and how they should provide that help. 

 

What are Private Parts

These resources are a visual resource that can be used to help show and explain what are considered private parts. There are version for both children and adults. 

 

Additional Resources:

Right to Report Abuse Handout



Other Autism Resources

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