Regional Autism Summits

On September 23, 2021, the Pennsylvania State Roundtable commissioned the Autism and Dependency Courts Taskforce. The Taskforce was asked to examine how the dependency court system could become more aware and responsive to the needs of children and parents diagnosed with Autism. Supreme Court Justice Dougherty, now leading all of Pennsylvania’s Dependency Court Improvement activities, continued to lead the Autism work, including the newly created Taskforce.

The Autism and Dependency Court Taskforce’s primary goal is to provide a positive dependency court experience for children and parents with ASD by increasing professional awareness and responsiveness.

The overall vision of the Taskforce includes the following:

  • Bringing awareness and education to our justice system,
  • Being able to identify a child or parent with a diagnosis of Autism,
  • Creating a “Road Map” resource that any county can use to begin their ASD system analysis and reform, and
  • Implementing practice and policy reforms that support positive experiences for all children and parents diagnosed with Autism within the Pennsylvania dependency system.

To view the Autism Taskforce Report and attached tools, please visit the Autism Taskforce webpage here.

As part of the work from the Autism and Dependency Court Taskforce, two Regional Summits have been created through the collaboration of five counties. The Summits will help educate and train the local courthouse personnel, child welfare professionals, and dependency court partners, including juvenile and adult probation and other community providers.

The Summits will provide foundational knowledge on Autism as well as explain the diagnosis process and community services available for individuals with Autism. 

To access the PowerPoints for these Summits, please click on the below links:

Summit Agenda

Autism 101: Autism Services, Education, Resources, Training (ASERT)

Diagnosis and Community Services and Resources: Dr. Bernadine Suppa

Social Story Sample

Sensory Item Examples