Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Adult Autism Spectrum (AAS) Program

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About the Program


The Adult Autism Spectrum Program offers consultations on diagnosis, treatment, supports, and skill development for adults and late adolescents (age 16 and up) who have, or suspect they could have, one of the following diagnoses:

American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM-V) diagnoses:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Social Communication Disorder

American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV-TR) diagnoses:

  • Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger’s Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) (DSM-IV)

In depth, customized consultations typically include the following:

  • interview and evaluation by the program director
  • administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessment questionnaires, as indicated
  • review of previous records, prior treatments, and treatment responses
  • formulation and discussion of treatment and support plan

If patients and family members request, we can provide written reports on our diagnoses and treatment recommendations that can be useful for the patient, the family, and their other providers. Depending on the individual’s needs, recommendations sometimes may include additional assessment that can further guide treatment, including psychological testing, functional behavior assessment (FBA), and/or medical tests. Treatment plan recommendations may include one or more of the following: behavioral analysis treatment, other psychological treatments (cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive therapy, social skills work), medication treatment, vocational rehabilitation and/or other supports. We can provide consultation to individuals, families and providers on where to find these services, and we can provide follow-up consultations to patients, families, and other providers to help monitor treatment effectiveness, assess progress towards the patients’ goals, and modify treatment plans as necessary in order to make them as helpful and effective as possible.

Adult family members of individuals with ASD (of any age) may have questions about ASD and how to best help their son, daughter, or sibling on the spectrum, and families are often under some degree of chronic stress. We can provide consultation and counseling for adult family members.