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"There is a desperate need for more autism services in Central PA"

Oct 13, 2023, CBS 21, Harrisburg, PA: As students sit on wait lists, the need for more autism services in Central PA grows

An autism diagnoses is something thousands of families across Pennsylvania will experience. Public schools offer special education resources. However, if a parent is looking for more hands-on care for their child, there aren't many options and wait times can get long.

Senior vice president for children and family services at Merakey, Rebecca Mann said there is a significant wait time for all autism services.

Merakey and the Vista School in Dauphin County offer individualized learning to students with autism.

“We serve a variety of school students, probably anywhere from 30 to 50 students, but then also several hundred kids in the community,” Mann said.

Supervisor at the Vista School, Liz Phillippy, said they offer unique services, including in-house therapies students receive daily….
However, some students with autism are sitting on waitlists. …
The Vista School’s waitlist can span anywhere from two months to a few years.
Both Mann and Phillippy said there is a desperate need for more autism services in Central PA.

“Just thinking of our waiting list alone, I mean there could not be a greater need for this type of individualization,” Phillippy said.

The Vista School and Merakey work with school districts across Central PA.

According to Mann and Phillippy, if interested in their programs, you can reach out to your school district to learn more about eligibility.


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