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Resource Center

The ASERT Resource Center serves as Pennsylvania’s leading source for up-to-date and accurate information and resources for individuals with autism, their families, the community and the professionals who support them. Contact the ASERT resource center to speak with a resource specialist who can help you learn how to discover and access resources in Pennsylvania.

When should I contact the Resource Center?

If you have additional questions about information you found on PAautism.org or would like to invite an outreach specialist to attend an event, conference, or support group, someone at the resource center can assist you.

Be sure to visit the following pages below here on PAautism.org to find helpful information. If you still have additional questions, contact the Resource Center.

By phone
1-877-231-4244

Are you located outside of Pennsylvania?
The ASERT resource center is focused on specific resources in Pennsylvania. If you are in another state, the resources specialists will not be able to help you. Please visit the resources section of PAautism.org, as some of the online resources may be applicable to residents of other states.

           

ASERT Spotlight: Dr. Cathryn Lehman

Meet Dr. Cathryn Lehman, PhD! Lehman is a Psychologist at the UPMC Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders. She is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-occurring conditions, as well as assessment for several of research studies. 

 

1.)  What led you to this career path? 

“When I was in graduate school, I took a summer job working at a camp for children on the Autism Spectrum.  The unique ways in which they saw and interacted with the world were so intriguing to me that I completely changed the direction of my studies to focus on ASD.”

2.)  What is your favorite part of your job?

“I prefer to do assessment.  That surprises most people because the presentation of a new diagnosis can be somewhat uncomfortable.  It is a day, a moment even, that is often etched in a parent’s mind forever. I try to be very sensitive to that and help parents to see their whole child and not just this new label.”

3.)  Why is therapy so important for children and adolescents with Autism?

“In addition to difficulties directly associated with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as social problems, children on the Autism Spectrum often experience other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, inattention, behavioral problems, and/or OCD.  There is something called diagnostic overshadowing that can sometimes get in the way of individuals receiving proper treatment for these things.  This is when someone says that all of an individual’s symptoms can be attributed to one diagnosis, like Autism, rather than seeing other symptoms for what they are.  It is important to address symptoms individually because progress in any of these areas can make a significant difference in an individual’s quality of life.”

4.)  What advice would you give to parents of a child newly diagnosed with Autism?

 

“Find supports for yourself and connect with other parents who are also raising a child with Autism.  Having the support of people who have been in your shoes can be immensely helpful. You cannot give your child what they need if you are not taking care of yourself.” 

 

5.)  What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Autism?

 

“Children with Autism are just like other children in that they are all unique. They are intelligent, thoughtful, caring, artistic, passionate, creative, funny, and so much more.  They deserve love, respect, and for those around them to have an open mind.” 

 




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