AllOne Foundation Supports Expansion of Friendship House Autism Services in Williamsport

The Friendship House Autism program in Williamsport became operational on September 15, 2019 as part of the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence with the support of the AllOne Foundation. Located in the Hope Enterprises Inc. facility in Williamsport, PA, Friendship House is currently serving eight children and their families. Led by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Friendship House provides evidence-based teaching strategies in one to one or group formats to allow the children served the opportunity to acquire developmentally appropriate skill repertoires.

Friendship House has operated an Autism Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) Center Based program in Scranton, PA since November 2002. Formerly known as the Autism EIBI program, Friendship House has served over 500 children with Autism and comorbid diagnoses, and supported their transitions to various programs and schools in the community. The Autism program at Friendship House uses evidence-based teaching methods focused on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, a research-based, scientifically validated treatment widely used for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Early, intensive intervention services are key for skill development. The goal of the Autism program is to assist the child and his/her caregiver in developing “learning to learn skills” to better prepare them for inclusion in naturalistic settings within school based programming, their home, and the community.

Alex J. Hazzouri, President/Chief Executive Officer of Friendship House, emphasized the importance of early intervention services for children with Autism. “The opportunity that AllOne Foundation provided to Friendship House to expand services into Lycoming County has afforded families that have children with Autism a unique opportunity to access these critical services,” he said.

Friendship House is committed to maximizing the adaptive functioning and skills of its children in a planned, positive, and data driven manner.

According to John Cosgrove, Executive Director, AllOne Foundation, Friendship House offers a unique program providing critical Applied Behavioral Analysis to young children. “This early intervention program is one of a kind and the AllOne Foundation is pleased to be part of this effort to bring these services to families in Lycoming County,” he said.

Friendship House is licensed by the state of Pennsylvania as an Intensive Behavioral Health Services provider. As an agency, Friendship House’s intention is to expand beyond center-based programming to provide Autism services in the home, school, and community settings. This would allow greater access to services for families in need in Lycoming County.