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The Department of Community Mental Health is aware of the many joys, as well as challenges, people with autism spectrum disorders and their families face in their day-to-day life, at times of transition, and as they move towards and enter adulthood. Our goal in partnership with other county, state, and voluntary providers is to help individuals with autism spectrum disorders be welcomed, integral and active members of their communities, working and living as independently as possible.

Westchester County established an Autism Advisory Committee consisting of both professionals and family members of persons with autism spectrum disorders in response to the county's recognition of the multiple unmet needs of individuals with autism and their families. You can read the initial committee's report (attach link to report) and recommendations and provide us with feedback via email

at .

In addition to supporting the Autism Advisory Committee, other efforts being made by the county to help make Westchester "autism friendly" include:

  • Project Lifesaver: (attach link for more information) In a partnership between Westchester County and Westchester Jewish Community Services, Project Lifesaver provides a tracking device system to be worn by individuals with disabilities and who are at risk for wandering.
  • A new initiative: The Disabilities Access and Functional Needs Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee is working on an emergency preparedness plan that takes into consideration the particular needs of people with disabilities in the event of an emergency. DCMH staff, as well as family members, participate in this initiative to help direct and sensitize the county's resources to the needs of individuals with autism.