Frequently Asked Questions
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. To learn more about autism, visit http://www.thecenterforautism.org/resources/what-is-autism
What causes autism?
There is no single known cause for autism, and no known cure. However, the Center for Autism is focused on the reality that autism is treatable. To learn more about possible causes from the Autism Society of America, visit http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/causes/
How can I tell if my child has autism?
If you are observing impairment in eye contact, social skills and communication, and increased participation in restricted or repetitive behaviors, you should have your child evaluated by a provider with experience in autism. This evaluation will determine if your child meets the diagnostic criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorders.
How can I schedule an evaluation at the Center?
The Center for Autism provides year-round evaluation and assessment services to individuals of all ages. To schedule an appointment, please contact the Intake Department at 215-220-2121. An Intake Coordinator will collect basic information and ask questions about the person to be evaluated/assessed. To learn more about these services, visit http://www.thecenterforautism.org/programs-services/evaluation-services
How long will it take to get an appointment for an evaluation?
Though scheduling times vary throughout the year, the Center can generally schedule you for an evaluation 2-4 months from the time that you speak with our Intake Department.
Can I be seen for an evaluation appointment at your Grant Avenue location?
Our Ford Road location is the primary site for all evaluation and assessment services.
What type of insurance do you accept?
Medical Assistance & Medicaid
The Center's services can be accessed & paid for through Medicaid in Philadelphia by Community Behavioral Health. In Pennsylvania, children with severe disabilities, like autism spectrum disorders, are eligible for Medicaid through Social Security regardless of the parent's income. This is known as the Pennsylvania Loophole. You can apply for Medicaid/Medical Assistance at http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/
Pennsylvania’s Autism Insurance Act (Act 62) requires private insurers to cover autism-related treatment & diagnosis up to $36,000 annually for individuals under 21. If you are a resident of Pennsylvania and would like more information on autism coverage, please contact your insurer. Please contact the Intake Department at 215-220-2121 to find out if your private insurance covers our services.
What treatments programs do you offer at The Center for Autism?
The Center offers a variety of treatment programs for children with autism and their families. These include the Pre-K Program, First Friends Program, Social Competency Program and Individual Outpatient Therapy. To learn more about these programs, visit http://www.thecenterforautism.org/programs-services/treatment-programs
How long will it take to get my child into a program?
The time-frame for program admission can vary. Children new to the Pre-K and First Friends Program begin attending in September. The Social Competency and Outpatient Programs admit new individuals throughout the year based on availability.To learn more about our Intake Procedure, please click here for a PDF.
Is the Center for Autism a school?
The Center for Autism is not a school or an educational facility. We are an outpatient treatment facility, and use a comprehensive assessment to guide treatment/services. The goal of treatment is to alleviate the core deficits of autism, which are impairments in communication and social interaction, restrictive/repetitive play and other related underlying issues. Through treatment, we teach individuals how to communicate and build relationships with significant people in their life, and learn the skills they need to help succeed beyond their time in our programs.
What job opportunities are available at the Center?
To learn more about our job opportunities, visit http://www.thecenterforautism.org/join-our-staff
When is the Center open?
The Center is open year-round, Monday through Thursday 8:30am to 7:00pm, and on Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm.
Where is the Center located?
The Center has two locations: 3905 Ford Road, Suite 6, Philadelphia, PA 19131-2824 and 2801 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114.
Does the Center for Autism offer summer camp?
The Center does not currently offer a summer camp, but is happy to refer you to an agency that does provide summer camp.
Does the Center for Autism offer transportation?
Individuals enrolled in the Pre-K, Social Competency, and First Friends Programs are eligible to receive transportation to & from programming through a contracted transportation service provider.
Do you offer Wrap-Around/BHRS, TSS, BSC, and/or Mobile Therapy Services?
The Center does not offer these services, but is happy to provide you with information and a referral to an agency that does provide these services.
Do you offer psychiatric services or medication management?
We currently offer these services only for clients enrolled in a Center for Autism treatment program. We can refer you to other providers that offer this service.
Do you offer individualized speech therapy and occupational therapy?
Speech and occupational therapy are integrated into the Center’s treatment programs, and into an individual’s treatment plan. We do not currently offer individualized speech or occupational therapy, but can refer you to other providers that offer this service.