Education and Autism Services

The NHS Education and Autism Division focuses on a continuum of care throughout the lifespan. The core, fundamental principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are incorporated into a specialized approach across all service offerings. This division is supported by a senior management team of highly qualified professionals that provide training, supervision, guidance, and support to each of our specialized programs. This team is comprised of decades of expertise in education, autism, and behavioral health experiences.

With a rich history of providing autism services, this division utilizes Board Certified Behavior Analysts as part of a multi-disciplinary team to develop programs specifically targeted to meet the needs of each child and/or adult. This level of expertise provides a strong foundation and high level understanding of behavior principles and concepts to look at behavior scientifically and let the data guide decision making. All of the services in the continuum fall under the organizational structure and treatment framework of Trauma Informed Care. This involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma while emphasizing physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both consumers and providers by rebuilding a sense of control and empowerment.

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NHS opened their very first Licensed Private Academic School for students on the Autism Spectrum in the fall of 2005. Since inception, the Education and Autism Services have grown across the state of Pennsylvania providing support for all individuals across the lifespan. Services include:

Through the utilization of Applied Behavioral Analysis our trained professionals utilize positive reinforcement techniques to increase useful behaviors and reduce those that may interfere with learning to develop meaningful and positive change in behaviors. ABA techniques are imbedded within all of our service offerings and foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective.

Small Steps Learning Center is an early childhood education program for students of all abilities while providing specialized services for children with developmental delays and Autism. This program utilizes the forward-thinking, comprehensive, research-based and research-proven Creative Curriculum. This curriculum helps teachers support infants, toddlers, twos and preschool age children develop into exceptional students, while honoring their creativity and respecting their critical role in making learning exciting and relevant for every child. Read more...

By blending behavioral expertise utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and education, the NHS Schools partner with families, school districts and community organizations to provide a quality educational environment. The goal is to teach students the skills necessary for success in the general education setting and to transition them, as appropriate, back to a less restrictive environment within their home school districts, competitive employment and/or independent living. Services within our schools include the following:

  • Autism Classrooms
  • Emotional Support Classrooms
  • Transition Services
    • Vocational Training
    • Independent Living
    • Post-Secondary Education
  • PETALS (Promoting Educational & Tangible Alternative Life Strategies) for Girls
  • PAES (Practical Assessment Exploration System)
  • ESY (Extended School Year)
For more information, please visit

In-District Classrooms offer public schools an alternative to educate within their own district while providing behavioral support to their students. NHS Schools specialize in programming for autism, cognitive, emotional and socialization challenges as well as the PETALS (Promoting Educational & Tangible Alternative Life Strategies) Education Program. In-District Classrooms provide additional programming to students who require a higher level of care and need additional supports to be successful while remaining in the public education setting.

Specialized speech and language, occupational, physical and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy are offered through assessment and treatment to children qualifying for the service either through Commercial Insurance and/or private pay.

This clinically and therapeutically based program is offered to children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism. Stepping Stones and Stepping Stones Plus are highly structured and allow participants to focus on the following targeted skills

  • Peer relationships
  • Positive communication
  • Interactive play
  • Transitioning
  • Environmental awareness
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership skills
  • Safety
  • Generalization

Adult Autism services are designed for individuals over 16 years of age with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis who require specialized activities designed to enhance skill development and independent living. Download Waiver Application

NHS partners with the Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburg ( AHDCP) to provide integrated housing services to individuals with Autism in the local community. This will give individuals with autism the chance to live independently and be a part of the community in which they live surrounded by neurotypical peers. NHS partners with the Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburgh (AHDCP) to provide integrated housing services to individuals with Autism in the local community. This will give individuals with autism the chance to live independently and be a part of the community in which they live surrounded by neurotypical peers >> Meet Masha, an individual supported by NHS, who is living and thriving at the Dave Wright Apartments in Heidelberg, PA


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NHS Shelley Hendrix Autism Center: NHS joins the Capital Region by bringing its continuum of services for individuals with autism to the community. Our comprehensive approach and expert staff are equipped to successfully support each child’s area of need and to increase their opportunity to succeed. We pride ourselves in offering supports to enhance social skills & peer to peer interactions across all service offerings. Parents are invited to explore options in one or more of our service offerings. Services include:

  • School services for individuals with Autism 5-21 years old
    • Specialized Behavioral Programs with a Foundation in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
    • Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
    • Intensive Learning and Instruction (ILI)
    • Small Group Instruction (SGI)
    • Transition Services for students 14-21 years old
    • Data-based Decision Making
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services
    • Center-Based
    • Home-Based
  • Ancillary Therapy Services
    • Speech and Language
    • Occupational Therapy
  • BeeMe Center
    - An NHS Child Development Center for Students of all abilities

Acceptable forms of payment include Medicaid, Commercial Insurance, and self-pay. Enroll in one, two, or all of the services in the NHS Autism Center continuum.

Check out Frequently Asked Questions!


NHS Autism Center Open House, In the News! Check out news coverage advertising the event and at the event on PHL17 and NBC10 News on March 7!

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MICHIGAN - Services include:

Special Education and Behavioral Connections (SEBC) provides Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services through the Michigan Autism Waiver to children and adolescents ages birth-21 years old with an Autism Diagnosis. These services focus on skill development, maintenance of learned skills and behavioral supports. Services at our Dearborn, Michigan site and within homes in the Wayne and Genesee County communities include the following:

  • Initial diagnostic assessment
  • VB-MAPP Assessments
  • Re-evaluations
  • Individualized programming to meet client needs
  • Family training

These services are designed to meet the increasingly complex challenges of children and adolescents with an Autism diagnosis providing the right supports in the most efficient, effective and evidence-based manner to enhance traditional programs. For more information, please visit


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DELAWARE - Services include:

Through a partnership with Christina and Appoquinimink School Districts, NHS operates therapeutic classrooms for students in elementary, middle, and high school struggling with emotional support needs. The model focuses on the core principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and effective behavior, educational, and emotional programming to maximize each student’s potential. The goal is to cultivate the skills necessary to regulate behavior, maximize academic potential, and foster natural support systems for long term success. Our classrooms staff consists of the following:

  • Highly qualified special education teacher
  • Master’s Level Clinical Specialist
  • Bachelor’s Level Behavior Interventionist
  • Paraprofessional

In addition to specialized classrooms, NHS also provides Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Services. BCBAs focus on classroom management and operant analysis while emphasizing antecedents, behaviors and consequences along with understanding of the functions of behavior. This support assists our staff with data driven decision making and learning the procedures to systematically improve maladaptive behaviors.

Student Support Staff Services are also provided in which an individual is responsible for providing support based on the child’s strengths and interventions along with behavior modification techniques that will be individualized to best meet the needs of each student in the building.


Education and Autism Statistics

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number of consumers by state
number of empployees by state
data as of 5/1/2016