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“U.S. Adults With Autism May Face Housing Crisis”

Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This November 13m 2013 Health Day article found on the Philly.com website talks about concerns pertaining to kids who have been diagnosed with Autism and what the future holds for them on the availability of housing combined with appropriate supports to meet the individual’s needs

“Licensing rules in Pennsylvania could hurt autistic kids”

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This March 17, 2013 article on the TribLive News website talks about licensing changes on the horizon that will likely effect many receiving services for Autism Spectrum Disorders

“Area autism specialist appointed”

This article was found in the Warren Times-Observer in the April 2, 2009 edition, at … http://www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/514638.html

It is more of a localized article but I thought it would be a good one to post  for those in the Warren County area.

Area autism specialist appointed

There is a new face of the autism program in Warren and Forest counties.

Penny Thompson was recently appointed program coordinator for the Rural Autism Program covering the two counties.

The program is sponsored by the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber National Institute in Erie, and offers services and resources to children and families for the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

For the past five years, Thompson has been involved with early intervention services for infants and toddlers. She most recently served as coordinator for the Venango County Early Intervention Program and was previously the director of the Easter Seals Society, Venango County Division.

“I’m very familiar about what families need and want and look for and the idea that getting kids early into services, it doesn’t matter what the disability is,” said Thompson.

“This (program) is taking other services and helping a family along,” she added.

An important focus of the program has been getting children the necessary services early.

“We’re picking up kids earlier and we’re finding that the earlier they get the services that they need, the better it is,” explained Thompson.

Teleconferencing and telepsychiatry, which include facilitating child psychiatrists in Erie to conduct live video evaluations, are tools that will hopefully be increased in the future.

“Telepsychiatry is the big and the new thing that’s happening,” said Thompson.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and an informative window display will be set up at Warren Public Library describing the signs and symptoms of autism as well as a video conference with a psychiatrist in Erie that will be telecasted to Warren Area High School.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects nearly one in 150 children and impacts their learning and social skills. Symptoms include a child avoiding eye contact or uneven physical or verbal skills.

A recently passed insurance act will assist families with the expense of services.

The Autism Insurance Act, which takes effect July 1, requires many private insurers to begin covering the costs of diagnostic assessments for autism and services for those with autism under the age of 21.

“It’s really kind of a good thing because if they have private insurance through their employer, now they’ll be able to access services through that,” said Glynn Chase, director of business development for the Barber Institute.

The act also requires the state Department of Public Welfare to cover the costs for eligible individuals who have no private insurance coverage and establishes minimum license qualifications for professional behavior specialists.

The Rural Autism Program is located at 27 Hospital Dr. on the Warren State Hospital grounds and can be contacted at 726-8440.

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