No matter how mild or severe, a diagnosis of autism in a child can be devastating for families. High hopes and dreams could no longer be a reality in some cases. Some friends and family are sympathetic, but they may not really understand. Others may be in complete denial, telling those affected to just raise their kids better. Schools may not have the staff or resources to properly help a child with autism. A parent can feel sad, angry, frustrated, and alone.
Families in western Pennsylvania don't have to feel that way.
Established a decade ago, the Autism Center of Pittsburgh is there for any family dealing with a diagnosis of autism. The organization provides evaluation and counseling by trained psychologists led by Dr. John Carosso. The rest of the staff is on hand to provide families with referrals, resources, information, and advocacy.
The best part about the staff is they are all mothers of children with autism. They have been where the families who call them are. They know that feeling of frustration and loneliness, and they will help, never turning anyone who asks for help away.
The help does not stop at diagnosis and evaluation. If families need to find counseling, therapy, wraparound care, etc, the staff provides referrals. If a school is not following an IEP or treatment plan, the staff will come to meetings as advocates. Better yet, all of the mentioned services are provided free of charge.
The staff at the Autism Center of Pittsburgh also realizes how important it is to be part of the community they serve. Several workshops, seminars, and family activities are offered throughout the year. Grants for autism services dogs are awarded. And the center regularly interacts with their families via their Facebook page. These autism moms are truly a part of the community they serve.
The Autism Center of Pittsburgh is run 100% on donations. To donate and to keep this wonderful organization running for many years to come, you can click the "Donate" button on their homepage, or mail donations to 135 Cumberland Rd, Suite 135, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.