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Autism Society NWPA Facebook Support Group......

Every parent and person on the spectrum has so much to offer so a forum to help one another has been created. If you have a question, a suggestion for someone else's question or just want to share a success or a struggle, this local on-line community is here to provide support. The group is closed so only members may see the comments shared.  Please email: if you would like to join the closed group.  SUPPORT GROUP


Welcome to the web site of the Autism Society - Northwestern Pennsylvania. The goal of our organization is to share:  our contacts, our experiences and our friendships.  We will inform you of the many professional agencies that we have in our area.  We will notify you of any important news or legislation that could affect your family.  We will listen to your concerns, share the fun and laughter at our family gatherings.

We are part of a team that will assist your child, and your family, as you navigate the world of autism.  No one should ever have the feeling that they are alone.

Autism Society - Northwestern Pennsylvania exists to improve the quality of life across the lifespan of persons on the Autism Spectrum and their families in Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Mercer Counties through:

▪ Advocacy     ▪ Education     ▪ Service     ▪ Support     ▪ Research 

Our activities are driven by the needs of our members. We promote an awareness of autism and other developmental disorders in the community at large and to that end educators, social workers, and other professionals are welcome as an integral part of our family.

New Data on Autism Spectrum Disorder Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 68 children (1 in 75 in Pennsylvania) has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  

ASA-NWPA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Next Step Guide

Now available!

The Autism Society promotes the active and informed involvement of family members and the individuals with autism in the planning of individualized, appropriate services and supports.  The Next Step Guidewas develop to help inform families of what is available for services and support.

Autism Society NWPA will make every effort to keep the Next Step Guide updated.  The guide (online) will be updated as information/services change.

Bureau of Autism Services
discountinues the Family & Individual Mini-Grant

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Bureau of Autism Services (BAS) announces the discontinuation of the Family & Individual Mini-Grant Program. Designed as a short-term project, last year was the final year that we were able to offer the mini-grants.

 For eight years we have been able to offer this program, providing resources to individuals and families unable to access existing support systems for various reasons, such as eligibility criteria, age, or waiting lists. We did so with the understanding that it would not be something we could sustain permanently since needs are great and funding is limited.

 From 2007-2014, we were honored to provide $6,747,840.53 in grants (up to $500 each) to 14,980 families and individuals with autism throughout the Commonwealth. We are proud of the impact these small grants have had in the lives of so many young people and their families.

 With an estimated 36,000 adults with autism in Pennsylvania by 2020, our challenge will be to continue to build capacity to meet the complex needs of these adults, while also assisting their families and the providers who work with them.

 - Bureau of Autism Services Staff

Achieving a Better Life Experience - new law

President Barack Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act Friday before leaving Washington for the holidays.

The new law will allow people with disabilities to open special accounts where they can save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government programs. What’s more, individuals can keep their Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is accrued in an ABLE account.

Modeled after 529 college savings plans, interest earned on savings will be tax-free. Funds accrued in the accounts can be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses.

To be eligible, individuals must have a condition that occurred before age 26 and each person may only open one ABLE account. Under current gift-tax limitations, as much as $14,000 could be deposited annually.

People with disabilities may be able to start opening ABLE accounts as soon as 2015. However, some hurdles remain. While the new law alters federal rules to allow for ABLE accounts, each state must now put regulations in place — much as they have done for other types of 529 plans — so that financial institutions can make the new offering available.

“We can’t mandate that a state will create a 529, but given the lobby that we’ve seen, I think by the end of next year, I think we’ll see this in every state,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., one of the measure’s chief sponsors, said on a recent call with reporters.

The law’s name was amended in recent weeks to honor Stephen Beck, Jr., a longtime proponent of the bill who died unexpectedly in early December.

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On behalf of the Board of Directors and our families, THANK YOU, for supporting the 12th Annual Walk for Autism.  We are grateful for the community support, sponsors, teams, families and volunteers!