Since I became part of the autism community a few years ago, one of the things I was consistently alarmed to hear the parents of older children with autism talk about was the lack of services available once their children entered adulthood.
Well, I am excited to say that the situation in Pennsylvania is changing, with the introduction of two pilot programs for adults living with an autism spectrum disorder.
Adult Autism Waiver
One program is the Adult Autism Waiver, which will allow Medicaid-eligible adults who are significantly impacted by ASD to receive services to meet their needs in a variety of areas. Waiver services are currently expected to serve up to 200 adults living anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania. To request an application, you must call the Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Autism Services at 1-866-539-7689. More information is also available at their website.
Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP)
The other program is the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP), which is a fully integrated system of care that incorporates health care with vocational, social and behavioral support. The services provided will be individually tailored to build upon each person’s strengths, improve social skills, support both work and recreational activities, as well as to assist families and caregivers in their roles.
The basic requirements are simply that the individual:
Be 21 years of age or older.
Be eligible for Medical Assistance.
Have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Be able to live in a community setting with fewer than 16 hours of support per day.
As a pilot program, ACAP needs to show its usefulness to move forward and become a permanent reality in this region and throughout the entire state, so KAS has asked me to partner with them get the word out to as many people as possible. If you know of anyone who may qualify for this program, I urge you to share this information with them and encourage them to look into it further.
Keystone Autism Services can be contacted at 717-412-7400, and they are more than willing to talk to anyone who has an interest in the program and answer all your questions. I have listed some additional links, as well as the schedule for their upcoming information sessions, on a separate page.
I know many of your kids are young, like my son, but they will be adults soon enough, and we need to do everything we can to prepare our communities to support and include them.