We continually strive to be the premier resource for specialized autism services in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties by providing programs that meet the specific needs of each individual affected by autism.
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Founded by Dr. Bertram A. Ruttenberg as a demonstration project of the University of Pennsylvania. The Center is the first clinic in the country to exclusively treat autism, and pioneers therapeutic approaches to autism such as the use of music therapy, movement therapy and sensory integration.
From 1977 through 1980, with funding from the U.S. Board of Education, the Center develops Project LINK, an integrated program that addresses learning issues and physical, intellectual and emotional needs for autistic children in school settings. This model is replicated and used by school districts throughout the country.
In the United States Court of Appeals case of Jackson v. O’Bannon, Dr. Ruttenberg is instrumental in convincing the court to require the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to extend the number of hours for outpatient therapy for individuals with autism.
The Center is nationally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association for significant achievement in developing a comprehensive program for treating profoundly autistic children, a model that is still reflected in its services today.
A new treatment program for school-age children, the Social Competency Program, is added to the Center’s repertoire of available services. The program is focused on facilitating social skills and competencies through learning how to identify and interpret social cues, understand emotions and feelings, improving self-esteem and working collaboratively with others.
The Center launches a $3 million capital campaign and moves to a new, larger headquarters at 3905 Ford Road in Philadelphia. This new location allows the Center to serve more children and families and meet the growing needs of the community.
The Pre-K Program, the Center’s largest treatment program, receives accreditation from CARF International. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.
The Center welcomes David M. Maola, Esq. to the organization as Chief Executive Officer. David is an experienced nonprofit leader who has successfully developed sustainable, financially viable futures for regional and international organizations. He oversees the organization’s $15 million annual budget, 180 employees and programs that serve over 1,500 people annually at two locations.
The Center is open year-round, Monday through Thursday 8:30am to 7:00pm, and on Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.
The Center has two treatment locations: 3905 Ford Road, Suite 6, Philadelphia, PA 19131-2824 and 2801 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114. Our administrative offices are located at 1740 Walton Road, Suite 100, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Everyone we encountered at the Center was kind and caring to my son and me. Your social skills program is awesome!