Children's Service Center's Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services provide clinical services to eligible
children and adolescents with mental health diagnoses. Services are provided to children and their families
to assist them in developing new skills and coping mechanisms.
Children's Service Center offers services specifically centered around the needs of children and adolescents
diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The autism program includes staff who are specially trained in
FBA (Functional Behavior Analysis), BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analysis), and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis).
Population Served: The program serves children and adolescents who have been evaluated by a
psychologist with medical necessity established and the clinical recommendation for participation in this
level of care. BHRS serves upper Luzerne County (not including Hazleton) and Wyoming County. In addtion to
Luzerne and Wyoming counties, the Autism Program also serves Danville, Hazleton and Scranton.
Services: Services are provided to both the youth and his or her caretakers with families
expected to be active participants in the treatment process. Services are individualized and treatment
interventions are based on a treatment plan developed by team members consisting of family, child, school
and behavioral health staff. Care is provided in the home, school or community setting with a child-centered
and family focus.
Treatment Team: The team may be composed of, but is not limited to, the following:
- The client and his or her family
- Behavioral Specialist Consultants(BSC)
- Master's level clinicians (MT)
- Bachelor's level therapeutic staff support workers (TSS)
- Case managers
- Collaborative agencies
- Educational staff
Treatment Locations: Services are provided in the child's home, school setting, or community.
Hours of Operation: This flexible service can be provided to the client during times and on days
most convenient in order to meet treatment needs. The daily schedule of interventions is incorporated into the
treatment plan that is developed by the team and can be revised according to need.
BHRS Direct Contact
What is Autism?
Autism has been called the epidemic of our time. One in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
(ASD), according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). More children will be diagnosed with ASD this year
than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.
Autism is a complex developmental disability. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it includes a large range
of symptoms and behaviors, along with difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions
and play activities. Some behavioral characteristics might be visible in infancy (6 to 24 months), while others
become more obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).
Red flags can include:
- Not initiating or responding to cuddling as an infant
- No big smiles or joyful expressions by 9 months
- Not responding to name by 9 months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No two-word phrases by 24 months
- Any loss of language or social skills at any age.
Autism is treatable
If concerns exist, it is essential to identify the presence of the disorder as soon as possible. Research indicates
that early diagnosis and intervention are associated with dramatically better treatment outcomes.
This is especially true in the case of infants and toddlers. Research shows that interventions before the age of 6
are the most effective. Also, the newest research suggests it might be possible to reverse ASD symptoms in children
in this age range. This is due to the incredibly malleable nature of the brain during this time. A delay in diagnosis
can jeopardize this opportunity.
Behavioral gains can also be made during later years, as well. Research shows improvements in social competence,
peer relationships, and emotional development in school-age children and teens receiving treatment.
Not sure where to start?
If you notice several of the red flags on a consistent basis over time and would like more information, please
contact a pediatrician, primary care doctor, your local school district, or Children's Service Center (CSC).
Where to get help
Children's Service Center is committed to providing services that identify and treat ASD. Identification of ASD occurs
through an evaluation consisting of diagnostic interviewing and psychological testing. Parents/caregivers are asked
for developmental history and to identify the presence/absence of behaviors associated with ASD. Also, the Autism
Diagnostic Observation Scale 2 (ADOS-2) might be used. The ADOS-2 has been identified as the “gold standard” in the
behavioral assessment of ASD. Results from the ADOS-2 provide important information about behaviors associated with
ASD, which is integral in diagnosing and planning treatment for individuals with ASD.
CSC has a treatment program specifically designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents with ASD. Our Autism
program is offered in several counties throughout Pennsylvania. We work very closely with all local school districts,
doctors and psychologists.
For more information on CSC's Autism services, please contact Shelley Loughney, Autism Director, at 570-825-6425,
ext. 646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autism Direct Contact