Autism Diagnostic Clinic (ADC)
The Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health funds an Autism Diagnostic Clinic (ADC) through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant through partnership with Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania. Easterseals provides access to early diagnostic services, client and family education, and community resources to support the child and their family, at no cost to the family. Children are referred to the ADC through Early Intervention Services.
The ADC provides services in the Berks County and Lehigh Valley area in collaboration with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Pike counties in Pennsylvania.
The ADC is designed to:
- Provide access to early autism diagnostic services for children ages 18 months to three years of age and receiving Early Intervention services.
- Provide, for those clients with developmental delays, access to therapy services such as:
Physical: for gross motor skills, movement, balance, and coordination;
Speech: speaking, communication using sign language and pictures; and,
Occupational: fine motor skills, sensory processing, play and social skills, as well as activities of daily living.
- Increase communication between individuals diagnosed with autism and their families with community-based organizations and resources.
- Provide equitable access for clients and their families to autism services.
The ADC provides access to autism diagnostic evaluation services and community-based resources and education to provide children and families the tools and services needed to live their best lives.
Why is the Autism Diagnostic Clinic Important?
Prior to the establishment of the ADC, children exhibiting signs of autism were waiting until ages 5-7 for evaluation and diagnosis, which delayed the family's ability to obtain supportive educational resources and access to community-based services for their child. With the utilization of telehealth technology, children can be assessed and evaluated in their natural environment rather than a clinical setting. Parents of children diagnosed with autism are provided with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) coaching which teaches parents how to address the daily behaviors of their child, educational resources and community-based agency support services to support children and families.
Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania has resources to address everyday challenges such as: food insecurity, housing/rent assistance, utility assistance, transportation difficulties and other expressed needs to identify and remediate disparities, to alleviate barriers to care, and ultimately improve the health outcomes and quality of life for those families with a family member diagnosed with autism.
Through the Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania, the ADC can also help individuals with:
- Coordinating care with various providers.
- Transition and planning for all stages of life.
- Educational and employment support.
- Developing and connecting to peer and community supports; and,
- Client, family and social support engagement.
For more information, please contact the Bureau of Family Health, Division of Community Systems Development and Outreach at 717-772-2763.
To Learn More About Easterseals, Please Contact
Easterseals at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? | CDC
ASERT Autism Resource Guide
Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP)
BAS Autism Programs (pa.gov)