© 2021 Halkin Mason Photography LLC

The challenge is clear: experts and families agree that despite millions of dollars in research funding to study the underlying causes of autism, there is an acute lack of services to support adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) demonstrates how universities can become part of the answer by providing a model that integrates academic research, student training, and comprehensive community inclusion of adults with ASD.

A unique center of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), the gold standard of education and training of qualified psychology professionals, the RCAAS exhibits the GSAPP mission of serving historically underserved populations. The RCAAS exists to specifically serve the underserved community of adults on the autism spectrum. 

The current absence of support and funding for most adults on the autism spectrum and their families is not acceptable. The RCAAS advocates for those adults with ASD who are not always able to stand up for themselves, and, whenever possible, to amplify the voices of those who can. Simultaneously, the RCAAS draws upon Rutgers' extensive resources in autism research and support, putting them into practical action centered on three main objectives: service, training, and research. To learn more, visit our On A Mission page.

Inclusive innovation, comprehensive programs

Through four distinct, yet collaborative units, the RCAAS provides adults on the autism spectrum with the appropriate supports that afford them the necessary tools and resources to take the next steps towards independence in adulthood. 

The Supporting Community Access through Leisure and Employment (SCALE) Program is the RCAAS’ flagship work-day services program for adults age 21+ that provides an array of support needs ranging from vocational training and social support, to academic and clinical services.

The College Support Program (CSP) supports matriculated Rutgers undergraduate students on the autism spectrum through weekly Coordinator meetings, collaboration with key campus partners and more. Students accepted to Rutgers University can apply to the CSP to receive crucial academic and social support during their collegiate years.

The Psychological Services Clinic (PSC) is a training center that provides both psychological and assessment services for autistic adults or those seeking a diagnostic evaluation for autism. These services are provided by doctoral students and trainees who are supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist.

The Intensive Outpatient Clinic (IOC) has been designed as a community-based resource for adults with autism that have complex, crisis-level behavioral support needs beyond what can be met at other existing treatment settings throughout the state.