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Adult Autism Programs: AAW & ACAP

Overview

Pennsylvania offers two programs for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through the Bureau of Autism Services (BAS): the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) and the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP). Both programs are designed for residents of Pennsylvania who are age 21 and older and have a diagnosis of autism. These programs are evidence-based and outcome-driven models which have been designed to assist participants in gaining the greatest level of independence possible, encourage involvement in community life, improve social skills and provide support to caregivers.

A group of adults standing together smiling.Pennsylvania offers two programs for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) and the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP). Both programs are designed for residents of Pennsylvania who are age 21 and older and have a diagnosis of autism. These programs are evidence-based and outcome-driven models which have been designed to assist participants in gaining the greatest level of independence possible, encourage involvement in community life, improve social skills and provide support to caregivers.

 

Eligibility/Population Served:

Program Eligibility

    • Be a PA resident *
    • Be 21 or older
    • Have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    • Meet functional eligibility and Level of Care

Financial Eligibility

    • Receive Medical Assistance (income eligibility determined by County Assistance Office)

*For ACAP, the individual must live in one of the ACAP counties (Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster or Chester) 

 

Program Comparison:

Adult Autism Waiver (AAW)

is a 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver tailored to the specific needs of adults with ASD. Priority is given to adults not receiving ongoing state or federally funded services. The Adult Autism Waiver is available statewide, and provides participants with a choice of an enrolled provider for each service. The AAW does not include physical health services. Participants in the program continue to get medical insurance from outside the waiver

Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP)

is not a waiver. It is a managed care program that is an integrated model of care reflecting trends being seen in service delivery systems. ACAP is currently available in a limited number of counties, with services provided by one primary provider, and their network of providers, including primary care physicians and dentists. It provides physician, behavioral, and community services through an integrated approach to create a coordinated system of supports.

Services Available Such As:

Health Services:

AAW:

    • Family Support; Therapy (speech/language, counseling); Nutritional Consultation

ACAP:

    • All physician services, including Emergency Services provided by a Physician; Psychiatric Services; Women’s Health Specialist; Dental; Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic; Optometrist;
      Hospice; Chiropractor; Nursing Facility; Non-Emergency Medical Transportation; Therapies (counseling; speech/language and occupational therapy); Nutritional Counseling; Visiting Nurse

Home Care Services

AAW:

    • Community Transition; In-Home Respite; Home Modifications

ACAP:

    • Community Transition; In-Home Respite; Home Modifications; Homemaker/Chore

Other Services: 

AAW:

    • Supports Coordination; Behavioral Specialist; Skill Building; Community Support; Career Planning; Supported Employment; Transitional Work; Assistive Technology; Day Habilitation; Residential Habilitation; Vehicle Modifications; Out of-Home Respite

ACAP:

    • Supports Coordination; Behavioral Specialist; Skill Building; Community Support; Career Planning; Supported Employment; Transitional Work; Assistive Technology; Day Habilitation; Residential Habilitation; Vehicle Modifications; Out-of-Home Respite; Family Support; Non-medical Transportation; Personal Assistance

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This resource created by Pennsylvania Department of Human Services