ASERT’s statewide Resource Center helps individuals with autism, families, professionals, and community members learn more about autism services, resources, and supports in Pennsylvania. The below guide will help you understand when to contact the ASERT Resource Center and how Resource Specialists can help.
When Should I Contact the ASERT Resource Center?
- To learn about autism supports and services available in Pennsylvania.
- For resources on emergency preparedness and mental health.
- If you live in Pennsylvania or are moving to Pennsylvania and have questions about autism supports and services.
- For tips and resources on choosing the right provider.
- For recommendations on where to find grants and other types of funding.
- To promote autism-related events in Pennsylvania that are free or low-cost to families and/or individuals with autism.
- To request an autism-related training.
Meet the Resource Center Staff
Click through the tabs below to meet the ASERT staff who helps answer questions and provide guidance through the Resource Center. Staff from each of ASERT’s regions oversee the Resource Center to provide well-rounded expertise and support for your requests.
Ryan Cramer is a Licensed Social Worker. He has nearly 30 years of experience working to support the needs of individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health. Ryan is currently the Director of Community Services for UPMC Western Behavioral Health Child Behavioral Health Ambulatory Services and holds leadership roles within the UPMC Western Behavioral Health Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders and the ASERT Western Region Collaborative Ryan has worked as a therapist in outpatient and inpatient psychiatric settings and has provided consultation and training to a variety of programs to include residential programs, hospitals, outpatient programs, first responders and crisis workers. He has been a program administrator for large human services organizations and has developed programs designed to meet the needs of adults and children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Alexis (Lex) Gingell holds a Masters Degree in Applied Developmental Psychology, with a specialization in Behavioral Health in Schools and Communities from the University of Pittsburgh. Her passion and dedication for helping others was founded in her years and experiences in the mental health and child welfare systems. Her past professional experience includes project management and implementation of a statewide project called PA Healthy Transitions Partnership, a federal grant awarded to OMHSAS. Other areas of expertise include providing truancy prevention services on the local level, building a statewide youth and young adult network, and delivering Certified Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid trainings to professionals and communities. Currently, Lex is the Program Coordinator for Autism Services Education Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative in the Western Region of Pennsylvania. Her diverse roles within ASERT have included managing the Resource Center, developing content and resources, overseeing projects, PATC planning and personal stories, and local collaborations and training. This year marked a decade working for UPMC! She is a mom of three and thrives off of all things Pittsburgh, family, sunshine and adventure.
Jesse Northridge has been trained as a clinical social worker. He has been a therapist for the past 15 years, and has spent about half of that time specializing in autism. Jesse has been with ASERT since 2018, and has worked on a wide range of projects since that time. He currently helps with many of the ongoing training projects, but also manages many of the requests for help that come into the ASERT resource center.
Andrea Layton is the Director of the ASERT Collaborative and has been working in the field of developmental disabilities for over 20 years. She’s a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Specialist and has been with ASERT for 10 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, playing softball, hiking, making pottery, and relaxing with friends.
Chris DeInnocentiis is a Nurse Practitioner that specializes in care for individuals with Autism. He received a Bachelors in Biology from Albright College, Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University, and a Masters of Science and Nursing with a specialization in Psychiatric and Mental Healthcare from Wilkes University. In his spare time he enjoys exploring the community, hanging out with his dog Butterball, and playing trivia on Tuesdays.
Marisol Ramos is currently serving as the coordinator of the Latino Services Department at Vision for Equality, where she collaborates with ASERT to expand their opportunities to the Latino and Spanish-speaking community. She is a dedicated and passionate individual who has devoted over 20 years of her life to advocating for the Latino community. Marisol is at the forefront of initiatives that aim to address the unique needs and challenges faced by the Latino population. Marisol’s commitment to her work is deeply personal, as she is also a devoted mother to two children with Autism. Her firsthand experience in caring for her children has fueled her advocacy efforts, driving her to create positive change not only for her family but for countless others in similar situations.
Marisol Ramos actualmente es la coordinadora del Departamento de Servicios Latinos en Vision for Equality, donde colabora con ASERT para ampliar sus oportunidades a la comunidad latina y de habla hispana. Es una persona dedicada y apasionada que ha dedicado más de 20 años de su vida a defender a la comunidad latina. Marisol está a la vanguardia de iniciativas que buscan abordar las necesidades y los desafíos particulares que enfrenta la población latina. El compromiso de Marisol con su trabajo es profundamente personal, ya que también es una madre devota de dos niños con autismo. Su experiencia personal en el cuidado de sus hijos ha impulsado sus esfuerzos de defensa, impulsándola a crear un cambio positivo no sólo para su familia sino para muchas otras personas en situaciones similares.
Pamela Piscitelli, MSEd works at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University, where she provides project support for the Philadelphia Autism Project and the ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) Collaborative. In this role, Ms. Piscitelli utilizes her training in school counseling and psychology to conduct trainings and share resources to help educate and raise awareness of autism spectrum disorders. She helps individuals with autism, families, professionals, and community members learn more about autism services, resources, and supports in Pennsylvania through the ASERT Resource Center. Ms. Piscitelli has over 15 years of experience supporting the implementation of research projects and helping to translate research into practice, policy and education for the general community.
Mi-Yeet Wong is a Director of Community Impact at the Policy, Analytics, & Community (PAC) Research Program at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. After graduating with her Master’s in Social Work at Penn, she earned her LCSW as a Case Manager for adults with neurodevelopmental differences. She enjoys blending community engagement with developing innovative programs to make city and statewide impact.
Are you located outside of Pennsylvania?
The ASERT resource center is focused on specific resources in Pennsylvania. If you are in another state, the resource specialists will be limited in their ability to help you. In the resources section of our websites, you may find some online resources that are applicable to residents of other states.
How to Reach Us
You can contact the ASERT Resource Center by phone, email or using the contact form below. ASERT does not offer crisis services. If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health distress or thoughts of suicide please call or text 988 for support.
***ASERT makes every effort to ensure resource center requests are met in a timely fashion. If you do not receive an email in your inbox after 3 business days, please check your junk/spam mail folder. If you still do not receive an email, please call 877-231-4244.***