Autism Center

The mission of the Autism Center at Misericordia University and this website is to act as a resource for clinicians/practitioners and caregivers. The website provides a guide to the clinical services at Misericordia University, camps, other community resources, current best practices and helpful information.

Scroll down to the blue links below to access resource and contact information for each individual clinic and center.

Autism Speaks U

Autism Speaks U

Autism Speaks U is a multi-disciplinary club here at Misericordia! The club's main objective is to spread awareness, and educate others about autism. Autism Speaks U holds meetings, runs fundraisers, and hosts events around campus in order to meet their objectives of raising awareness and educating others!

Gobble 'Til You Wobble tunnel games

Click here to see the exciting and fun filled day Autism Speaks U had at their first "Gobble till you Wobble Event" in 2015!

Gobble Til You Wobble making snacks activity

Gobble Til You Wobble staff

On April 2, 2016 Misericordia chapter of Autism Speaks U honored World Autism Awareness Day by assisting at the Autism Family Fun Day at the Pittston YMCA.

Dr. Lori Charney, OTR/L is the group faculty advisor. Please contact her with any questions at 570-674-3330 or email at

Clinics and Camps

Speech-Language and Hearing Center

Contact: Tracey O'Day
Phone: (570) 674-6724
Fax: (570) 255-3375

Our Speech-Language and Hearing center treats both children and adults with a variety of challenges, including autism. Click on the link above to learn more about the services provided at the center.


OT Sensory Play Group

Dr. Orley Templeton, OTR/L
  • An occupational therapy sensory play based group designed for children 2-6 years of age.
  • Focus of treatment is to increase your child’s play, motor and social skills through carefully designed activities that involve interaction with their peers.
  • Evaluation prior to participation will be arranged with OT and family.
  • Limited space available - waiting list will be used as necessary.
  • Individual 30 minute sessions available on Thursdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm with Dr. Orley Templeton
    Click here to download the OT Sensory Play Group Flyer pdf.

Sensory Social Camp
Dr. Lori Charney, OTR/L,

Autism center tarp game

Sensory social camp is held at Misericordia University in the Occupational Therapy (OT) labs during the month of July. It comprises 16 OT treatment sessions where children with autism are encouraged to learn good social skills and strategies to deal with their sensory challenges. The group incorporates a fun, play-based environment that embeds the challenge to the student to use pro-social behaviors throughout each activity. (Child is taught a social skill and is required to use that skill throughout the camp, as each social skill builds upon the next). The group atmosphere allows the children to learn from one another as well as build friendships with each other.

Each session begins with learning and trying out a social skill with the group through a fun activity. Then, the children complete a “sensory obstacle course” where they complete gross motor activities and sensory challenges. Next, they complete a “sensory craft” such as making weighted animals, scented beans, colored rice, calm down jars, etc. Throughout the entire camp, they complete 16 different sensory crafts which they compile into a “sensory toybox” to take home or to school. Parents are invited to attend the final session of camp where they will be educated in the use of each item to assist them with their child’s sensory challenges. Each session ends with a “sensory snack” where the children learn about tolerating different textures in their mouth and proper snacks to choose in order to help the child be more alert and focused.

Children learn how to:

  • talk to a friend appropriately.
  • ask a friend to play a game.
  • encourage friends during game play.
  • identify their own emotions, as well as those of their peers.
  • “stop, think and make good choices” when they are upset.
  • use sensory strategies to be more alert and focused.
  • Improve their ability to follow multi-step directions.
  • choose good methods to calm their emotions when they become upset.
  • maintain an appropriate topic of conversation with a friend.
  • reduce restrictive repetitive behaviors (known as stimming).
  • reduce sensory aversions.
  • use sensory strategies at home, in the community, and at school.

Click here to download this PDF flyer!
Participants needed!
Social participation improvement via goal attainment scaling in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Click here to find out more.

Autism for Life Long Learning (ALL)

Program begins Fall 2016

Community Resources and Partners

Autism Center crafts activity

Local and National Resources

NBC News Report:

New government survey finds 1 in 45 children 3 or older have been diagnosed with autism.

The Liv with Autism Foundation

  • area support group
  • links to local activities for families
  • online lending library

Autism Safe

  • local support groups for families
  • offers social opportunities for children and teens with autism
  • swim classes

Autism Speaks

Autism Society

  • facts about Autism
  • research
  • tips for keeping a person with Autism “safe and sound”
  • tips for first responders

MU Speech Clinic

Centers for Disease Control

  • description of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • printable resources
  • current research
  • prevalence of ASD

National Autism Association

  • parental concerns/family support groups
  • resources for families whose children elope/wander
  • sound sensitivity resources
  • autism and wandering guides for first responders

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation

  • leading researchers in sensory processing disorders
  • educational materials for families and professionals
  • parental support

Click here for information about the Graham Academy.

Distinguished Speakers (Autism) Lecture Series

Dr. Grandin signs book for fan.

Each year, Misericordia University hosts a Distinguished Speaker Series event which focuses on autism and related disorders. In 2014, MU welcomed Dr. Temple Grandin to campus.


Auditory Processing Disorder and Auditory Challenges in Children

April 1, 2016 • 8:00 am–4:00 pm

Click here for more information.

Click here to register online.

Click here for brochure.

Misericordia University

Sponsored by the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Misericordia University.

Co-sponsored by the Hazleton Area School District Early Intervention Department.

Click the following link for information regarding Lois Kam Heymann's ( M.A. CCC-SLP) presentation on therapy techniques for children with auditory Processing Disorders:

Contact Us

Autism Center bubble activity

Most of the services of the Autism Center at Misericordia University have specific, individual contact information for each service. Please consult the links in each section for information. Persons with general questions may email us at

Autism Center Advisory Board

Lori Charney, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Kaitlyn Clarke

Frank Mariano

Christa Lese Martin, PhD, FACMG

Director and Senior Investigator

Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute

Geisinger Health System

Margaret Neville

Kathy Scaler-Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP

Associate Professor, Speech-Language Pathology

Elaina DaLomba, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy


Additional Resources/ Conferences

Autism Center crafts activity

Luzerne and Wyoming Counties MHDS (Early Intervention/ BHRS)

All Ages:
Information and Referral 570.825.9441

Developmental Case Management Services570.826.3030
Help Line (24-hour service)570.829.1341
Help Line (24-hour service) toll free888.829.1341
For ChildrenServicesPhone
HazletonNortheast Counseling Services570.455.6385
NanticokeNortheast Counseling Services570.735.7590
Wilkes-BarreChildren's Service Center570.825.6425
TunkhannockChildren's Service Center570.836.2722
For AdultsServicesPhone
HazletonNortheast Counseling Services570.455.6385
NanticokeNortheast Counseling Services570.735.7590
Wilkes-BarreCommunity Counseling Services570.552.6000
TunkhannockCommunity Counseling Services570.836.2722

Lackawanna/ Susquehanna Counties MH/DS- Lackawanna/Susquehanna BH/ID/EI Programs
Jeremy Yale
507 Linden St 8th Fl
Scranton, PA
(570) 346-5741

Service Coordinators
  • Scranton Counseling Center
  • NHS of Northeastern PA

Mercyhurst Conference on Autism in Higher Education

Where: Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA

When: Nov 1-2, 2016

"The primary purpose of this conference is to disseminate information in the spirit of collaboration to continue to enhance the quality or services and resources, especially for adults on the autism spectrum attending college".

Click here for more information on the Mercyhurst Conference.

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