Autism in Philadelphia

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), describes a spectrum of needs and strengths across social interactions, communication, and other aspects of everyday life. Autism affects each individual differently and impacts people of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the prevalence of autism has increased and that 1 in every 36 children is on the Spectrum.


The Pennsylvania Autism Census found there were 4,167 individuals on the spectrum in Philadelphia receiving services in 2014.

What We Do

The Philadelphia Autism Project supports autistic individuals and their families living in Philadelphia through:


  • Education: Training and eLearning Courses
  • Connections: A centralized resource hub, calendar of events, and fostering community collaborations
  • Innovation: Seed funding for community organizations, an annual conference, and new programs for people on the spectrum and their families

Autism In Philadelphia


The Philadelphia Autism Project was established in 2013 by the Office of Former City Councilmember-at-Large Dennis M. O’Brien, with continued support from the Office of Former City Councilmember-At-Large Derek S. Green. Today, the Philadelphia Autism Project is supported through the Office of Councilmember Michael Driscoll. The Philadelphia Autism Project works in tandem with the statewide Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative.


The Philadelphia Autism Project works in partnership with Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) and Community Behavioral Health (CBH). It is the first citywide initiative of its kind and is located at the Policy and Analytics Center (PAC) at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

Language Statement

The Philadelphia Autism Project uses neutral (“on the spectrum”) and identity-first (“autistic person”) language throughout our website, resources and other informational materials we create. We value feedback given by stakeholders and community members and have adopted this policy through community suggestion. Our purpose in making this change in the language we use is to ensure that we write and speak about autism in a way that is clear and respectful to all communities. We acknowledge that individual language preferences may vary and recommend that you ask individuals if they have a preference. The Philadelphia Autism Project will always seek to engage directly with individuals to determine their language preferences. We welcome your thoughts and feedback. Please feel free to email phillyap@drexel.edu or call (215) 571 – 3209 or (215) 571 – 3152 to share your thoughts with us.

Have a question?

contact us