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ASERT does not offer crisis services through our Resource Center. If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health distress or thoughts of suicide please call or text 988 for support.

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Barriers to Service Use for People With Autism in Pennsylvania

What Are Common Barriers?


About 2 in 3 respondents for the PA Autism Needs Assessment reported barriers to accessing services, including transportation, a lack of service providers in their area, and scheduling issues.

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Scheduling Issues

  • School-age children had higher reported rates of scheduling issues than adults.
  • Without support, caregivers may face challenges in managing the healthcare needs of their child and the needs of the rest of their families.
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Shortage of Service Providers in Their Area

  • 1 in 3 children had trouble finding a service provider.
  • Training to prepare providers to care for children with autism is needed.
  • New technology such as telemedicine could help children and families access providers and the services they need.
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  • Older Pennsylvanians, including adults, with autism more frequently report transportation as a barrier to receiving services.
  • Almost 1 in 3 adults with autism answering for themselves reported transportation as a barrier.
  • Pennsylvania has rural, suburban and urban counties, which means different transportation needs are required across widely different geographic areas.

Transportation As A Barrier

A graph shaped like a car that depicts the percentage of respondents who indicated that transportation was a barrier to their receiving care.

  • 31% of individual respondents reported transportation as a barrier to receiving services.
  • 15% of adults for whom a caregiver was the respondent reported transportation as a barrier to receiving services.
  • 9% of middle and high school students reported transportation as a barrier to receiving services.
  • 8% of elementary school students reported transportation as a barrier to receiving services.

Why Does This Matter?

  • Individuals of all ages with autism and their families need services to help support them in their communities.
  • Barriers to services, like lacking transportation, prevent individuals with autism from accessing the services they need.
  • Understanding the barriers that exist can help direct policies and programs that would support individuals with autism and their families in accessing the services they need.

Please call the ASERT Resource Center at 1-877-231-4244 for more information about how to find services in PA.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.