Call Us: 412.856.7223

"The Family Next Door" Great Film Success

The Family Next door is a feature-length documentary about an Upper St. Clair Family with two sons on the autism spectrum. It is a genuine, powerful portrayal of the challenges families face in the daily struggle with autism. Over a thousand people have viewed the movie locally and over $38,000 has been donated to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh by generous supporters of this incredible film. Plans are underway to show "The Family Next Door" in the North Hills in early 2015. For more information, please contact Heidi Hess at

If you'd like, you may read coverage of the premiere by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.



  • Reminder: No Support Group in December!

    Parent Support Group and Discussion

    Attorney Lisa Clark will join us with an update on
    legal issues and will discuss how to determine if
    hiring an attorney is in your best interest.
    7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    Whitehall Public Library, 100 Borough Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15236

    Please join us!
    The discussion is free and open to all who are interested in autism.
  • For more information on our "Autism Takes Flight" airport training program, click on this slide.

  • Run for Autism

    WVU's Alpha Phi Omega undertook the 44th Annual Run for Autism on
    Saturday, November 8, 2014.

  • The Autism Society of Pittsburgh is the local chapter of the Autism Society of America.
    Our objective is to improve the lives of those struggling with autism.

  • S.P.E.A.K. Summer Programs begin each July.

  • 2013 Cope Fazio Memorial Golf Tournament Winners

  • S.P.E.A.K. Family Day 2012 Performance

  • The proceeds from the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. Courtesy Matthew Little Photography

  • Myron Cope (1929–2008) — parent, writer, broadcaster, Autism Society of Pittsburgh charter board member, booster, fundraiser since 1967.

  • Serafino "Foge" Fazio — (1938–2009).
    Accomplished football player, coach,
    parent, autism fundraiser, founder (with Myron Cope) —
    longest running charity golf event in Pennsylvania.

Autism Takes Flight” – So Does Fear, with New Film


Announcing the availability of a new training film "Autism Takes Flight," Autism Society of Pittsburgh President Dan Torisky said, “Parents will learn if travelling by air with their autistic family member is feasible – or not. Airports can be hectic and most challenging for people with autism.”

The 12-minute film was produced by the Autism Society of Pittsburgh in cooperation with Delta Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Allegheny County Airport Authority. It is a compilation of video footage of recent training sessions for autism families held at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. It provides enlightening educational tips to make flying easier for those with autism.

The film shows families and those with autism what air travel entails – from ticketing through security to boarding and baggage claim. It is also a realistic onsite training tool, helping airport employees recognize and handle challenges their air travelers with autism face.
The widely recognized fear of flying is even more difficult for those with autism who are especially sensitive to noise, movement, and crowded spaces. Many families do not attempt to fly with their children on the spectrum because of their fears.

The video Autism Takes Flight is available on the Autism Society of Pittsburgh’s website at Also available in closed caption, copies may be requested by calling Autism Society of Pittsburgh at 412-856-7223.

$150 for every Mazda Sold Before January 2, 2015 Could Benefit Those We Serve!

If you or anyone you know intends to, or is thinking of, buying a new automobile, it is suggested that they do so during the holiday season – and that special consideration be given to the purchase of a Mazda.

For every Mazda purchased between Friday, November 21st through Friday, January 2nd, our good friends at Mazda Motor of America will donate $150 for each new vehicle sold to one of five charities the buyer selects. Four of the charities are national organizations. The 5th is the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.

It bears repeating that only the buyer will specify which charity gets the money. What a wonderful initiative – let’s hope it goes viral!

Of Immediate Interest:

Making the Most of the Holidays for Your Family and Your Son/Daughter on the Autism Spectrum

Contributed by Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism

"Eminently worth reading!" — the Autism Society of Pittsburgh

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families of sons/daughters on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken. Our hope is that by following these few helpful tips, families may lessen the stress and anxiety created by the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. The following tips were developed with input from the Autism Society of America, the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Easter Seals Crossroads, Sonya Ansari Center for Autism at LOGAN, and the Indiana Autism Leadership Network and are updated annually. Read the rest of the article.

Does Your Family Member with Autism Now — or Perhaps Could — Receive Medicaid-Reimbursed Services?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released a notice clarifying the rules on Medicaid autism coverage for children and adolescents. This CMS bulletin, released Monday, has information about the services covered by the Medicaid state plan and how to qualify for coverage. It may also affect individuals’ eligibility for Medicaid waivers.

“System 1-2-3” Addresses Severe Behaviors

Sharon Rupert, recently retired from Westmoreland Intermediate Unit 7, Supervisor for early intervention, was awarded a grant to fund a two-year project with “System 1-2-3” that provides intensive professional development in the form of a workshop series, in-services, and ongoing supportive services in individual classroom settings.

All staff members are included in the process of building teams that meet and deal effectively with the social-emotional needs of students with even the most challenging behaviors.

Head of the innovative System 1-2-3 is Dan Richardson, behavior analyst who has been providing services related to the social and emotional development of preschool children in the Pittsburgh City Schools early intervention program for a number of years. In doing so he has become highly regarded by the district’s early intervention administration.

WIU #7 staff has been highly responsive to the first year of Ms. Rupert’s highly sustainable and capacity building effort. Recently, Dr. Richardson’s group provided presentations for the Building Blocks Conference in Westmoreland County and the Early Childhood Conference for ARIN (Armstrong/Indiana Counties) IU. Additionally, he and his staff are in the process of developing a year-long social skills training program that provides teachers with 20 minute daily activities.

Further information may be obtained from Sharon Rupert at

Upcoming Events

5:30 pm Red Carpet Charity Premiere @ David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Red Carpet Charity Premiere @ David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Feb 12 @ 5:30 pm
SAVE THE DATE! Details to follow. This Premiere is open to all PVGP fans. Mingle with Pittsburgh’s elite and walk the Red Carpet with fellow auto enthusiasts. We have a limited quantity of special discount tickets at $200 each for PVGP supporters (normal price is $250). This is[...]

View Calendar

Breaking News

Contact Information

Call us at 412.856.7223, or email us at . For our address or more specific contact information, or if you'd like to fill out our simple contact form, go here.