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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability. Autistic people often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They may repeat behaviors, have a hard time adapting to change, or be unable to make eye contact.

About 1 in 54 children are autistic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But it’s not only a problem for kids. The CDC estimates that nearly 5.5 million adults in the United States are autistic.

How Adult Autism Programs Can Help

Autism is a lifelong condition. Some autistic adults receive a diagnosis as children. Others don’t receive a diagnosis until later in life, which is more likely if their characteristics were masked.

Medicine and therapy can help autistic adults manage difficulties like depression and anxiety. A correct diagnosis is key to finding services and support. UPMC adult autism programs help autistic adults live more enjoyable and productive lives.

Our adult autism programs include an outpatient clinic, an inpatient clinic, a vocational training center, and a supported employment program.

Outpatient Clinic

Doctors at the CADD Adult Outpatient Clinic assess and treat autistic adults and other intellectual disabilities or behavioral disorders.

The clinic offers:

  • Diagnostic assessment, including evaluations that focus on strengths and weaknesses.
  • Medicine clinics, where caregivers learn about the risks and benefits of medicines.
  • Outpatient treatment, which may include family, group, and one-on-one therapy. There are also social skills training groups for adults.
  • Trained staff who treat autistic adults and other developmental disorders.
  • Other services including evaluation and medicine monitoring.

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Inpatient Clinic

Our inpatient clinic is for adults with acute behavioral and emotional problems, including more severe issues and sensitivities that come with being autistic. The inpatient clinic offers:

Family involvement

The inpatient clinic staff works hand-in-hand with family members. They involve caregivers throughout treatment and allow for regular visits. Agency providers are also involved throughout treatment

Highly trained staff

We use current techniques and positive approaches when treating autistic adults. The staff consists of professionals from different fields, including:

  • Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers

Assessment and treatment

Assessment and treatment in the inpatient clinic may include:

  • Adaptive and self-care skills training
  • Behavioral assessment
  • Behavioral training with family, caregivers, and agencies
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Medicine assessment
  • Medicine review
  • Planning for discharge
  • Social skills training
  • Vocational training

Vocational Training Center

UPMC Vocational Training Center serves adults with intellectual disabilities. This program offers a structured setting with staff instruction and meaningful work that includes job readiness skills assessments.

Adults with intellectual disabilities receive compensation for the work they complete.

Supported Employment Program

The Supported Employment Program offers job coaching. Our staff helps find employment for autistic people or those with intellectual disabilities. The program provides:

  • Individualized assessment.
  • Help finding jobs that match the person’s interests and abilities.
  • Job training for autistic high school students who are transitioning to adult ASD services after graduation.
  • Trained staff who supervise all worksite settings.

For more information about autism services at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, call 1-877-624-4100 or 412-624-1000.

 

Sources

Data and Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Link

Key Findings: CDC Releases First Estimates of the Number of Adults Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Link

Everything You Need to Know About Autism in Adults, Medical News Today, Link

Autism Spectrum Disorder, UPMC, Link

Merck Adult Outpatient Clinic, UPMC, Link

Vocational Training Center and Supported Employment Program, UPMC, Link

About UPMC Western Behavioral Health

UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is a nationally recognized leader in mental health clinical care, research, and education. It is one of the nation’s foremost university-based psychiatric care facilities through its integration with the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. UPMC Western Psychiatric is the hub of UPMC Western Behavioral Health, a network of nearly 60 community-based programs providing specialized mental health and addiction care for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors throughout western Pennsylvania.