ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) is a partnership of medical centers, centers of autism research and services, universities, and other providers involved in the treatment and care of individuals of all ages with autism and their families. ASERT was developed to bring together resources locally, regionally, and statewide.
Innovate, collaborate, and lead to improve access to quality services, data, and information; to provide support, training and education in best practices; and to facilitate the connection between individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and special populations, families and key stakeholders at local, state, and national levels.
Support the autism community throughout PA
With a database of information, our Resource Specialists can provide up-to-date and accurate information and resources. ASERT is here to help individuals with autism, families, professionals, and community members learn more about services and resources available and assist them in navigating the service system in Pennsylvania.
Educate individuals with autism and their families, professionals, and community members
ASERT provides education and training to professionals, family members, individuals with autism, and more. Featured projects include: Training for Justice Professionals, Transition Resource Training, and numerous eLearning courses hosted on the ASERT website. To schedule a training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Measure data, needs, and change
ASERT determines the scope of work to be completed using data surrounding the needs of Pennsylvanians. The Initial PA Autism Needs Assessment was completed in 2011, and an update is currently underway. Additionally, ASERT completed the PA Autism Census in 2005 to determine the number of individuals with autism in Pennsylvania receiving services, with an updated in 2011 utilizing new data. ASERT also provides catered data analysis utilizing tools such as Resource Center data, focus groups, training surveys, and more.
Connect local, regional, and statewide resources
ASERT seeks to collaborate with a variety of local, regional and statewide partners to better support individuals with autism in Pennsylvania. Critical collaborators include: The Health Care Quality Units, Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, PA office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and others.
Build resources, programs, and innovative projects
ASERT develops and disseminates resources based on needs evidenced in the PA Autism Needs Assessment, PA Autism Census, Resource Center data, direction from The Bureau of Autism Services and Office of Developmental Programs, and other key stakeholders. Examples of past projects include: A social skills group curriculum and guides for supporting individuals with autism in psychiatric rehabilitation, resources for justice personnel and emergency room staff, and The Be Safe Campaign which provides resources for professionals, individuals with autism, and their families who have experienced abuse and trauma.
AJ Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University (Eastern Region)
Director – Katharine Croce, EdD, BCBA-D
Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center (Central Region)
Director- Michael Murray, MD
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders (Western Region)
Director – Martin Lubetsky, MD
ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations Office of Developmental Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
In addition to the PAautism.org website, there are two additional websites developed and supported by ASERT to assist individuals with autism and their families.
This website was developed to provide a place for individuals with autism to find information and resources specific to them, as well as help them connect with others in their communities. While PAautism.org provides information and resources more focused on parents and professionals, ASDNext.org is designed specifically for individuals on the spectrum, particularly teens and young adults. The website features a social calendar of community events around the state, blogs by young adults on the spectrum, and a community page where individuals can connect with others.
Philadelphia Autism Project
The Philadelphia Autism Project was established in 2013 by the office of former City Councilmember-at-Large Dennis M. O’Brien and continues to be supported through the office of City Councilmember-at-Large Derek S. Green. The Philadelphia Autism Project works in tandem with ASERT. The website focuses on providing support to autistic individuals and their families living in Philadelphia through:
- Education: Training and eLearning Courses
- Connections: A centralized resource hub, calendar of events, and fostering community collaborations
- Innovation: Seed funding for community organizations, an annual conference, and new programs for people on the spectrum and their families