Autism Systems Work
WA State Autism Advisory Council
Survey of Service Models
WA State Autism Diagnostic Teams Summit
Community Asset Mapping
Washington State Autism Advisory Council (WAAC)
Members of the Washington State Combating Autism Advisory Council collaborate with partners statewide to improve early identification and services for children and youth with autism and related disabilities across Washington. This council consists of membership from:
- Autism Organizations (State and National)
- Children’s Hospitals and Regional Autism Centers
- Educational Service Districts
- Family Members of Individuals with ASD
- Family Support Organizations
- Medical Home Leadership Network
- Service Providers
- Special Education Support Center
- State Agencies:
- Department of Health
- Department of Social and Health Services (DD, ITEIP, Medicaid)
- Developmental Disability Council
- Office of the Education Ombudsman
- Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
- University of Washington (Education, Research, and Treatment)
The Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) is providing logistical support for the WAAC for 2012-13 to continue their focus on critical issues facing people of all ages across the Autism Spectrum and their families. The role of the DDC is to provide general staff support for the WAAC including convening the Steering Committee, distributing notices and agendas, providing meeting space, and maintaining a public record of the WAAC’s presentations and materials.
Information on meetings and agendas for 2012-13 can be found at:
History of the Council
The Council began in 2009 to guide the work of two competitive federal grants awarded by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services under the Combating Autism Act of 2006 to:
The work of the Council builds on the recommendations of the Caring for Washington Individuals with Autism Task
Force (created in 2005 by Senate Bill 5321) in its December 2006 Final Report to the Governor and State Legislature.
The Council has collaborated on many activities including:
- Annual summits for Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Center Teams and Communities
- Community Asset Mapping to improve collaborative identification and services for children with autism and related disabilities and their families
- Autism screening and assessment training for community service providers
- Identification and promotion of materials for families who have children on the autism spectrum
- Promoting universal developmental screening
The original three-year grants ended in the summer of 2011, but the Autism Advisory Council and many of its activities continue. For 2012-13, the WA State Developmental Disabilities Council is facilitating the quarterly meetings. The UW LEND program facilitated the meetings in 2011-12.
Survey of Service Models
Surveys Completed by Clinics/Centers
Note: Initial surveys were completed in May 2009 for the first WA State Autism Diagnostic Teams Summit held in June 2009. As we approach the third WA State Autism Diagnostic Teams Summit in June 2011, these surveys have been updated to reflect the activity around the state.
If other clinics/centers are interested in completing this survey and having information about their services posted here, please complete the blank survey (in Word) and email it to Amy Carlsen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions? Call Amy at 206-685-1293.
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Washington State Autism Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Teams Summit
- Summit 2011 (June 3, 2011): Mental Health and Behavioral Intervention for Children and Youth with ASD
- Summit 2010 (June 24, 2010): Collaboration between MDTs, Communities and Schools
- Summit 2009 (June 4, 2009): Best Practices for Early ID and Diagnosis of Children with ASD
The purpose of the WA State Autism Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Teams Annual Summit is to improve the early identification, diagnosis and care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities across the state through the use of evidence-based practices and a comprehensive, collaborative and coordinated statewide approach.
The vision and initial financing for the summit came from Dawn Sidell, Executive Director of the NW Autism Center in Spokane. The summit was adopted as a project of the WA State Combating Autism Advisory Council (CAAC). The CAAC guides the work of the two federal Combating Autism grants received by the Washington State Dept of Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Program and the University of Washington Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program.
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Community Asset Mapping
New Alliances Improve Access to Local Developmental Services
The ten Community Asset Mapping Project (CAM) Communities across Washington have improved the early identification and diagnosis of children with autism and other developmental concerns by bringing together pediatricians and other primary care providers, families, educators, public health, early intervention, and other service providers in their communities. Through the facilitated process called Community Asset Mapping (CAM), communities have expanded existing resources and unlocked new energy. Medical Home Leadership Network (MHLN) teams have been at the forefront of these efforts.
Seven communities have participated in a formal version of CAM with outside technical assistance and have gone on to develop additional activities. (see map) These communities are in Lewis, Walla Walla, Island, Benton-Franklin, Skagit, Clark, and Spokane Counties. Other communities that have used pieces of the CAM process on their own include Yakima, Whatcom, and Madigan Army Medical Center and the South Sound Autism Partnership (Greater Pierce County). After CAM communities have made inroads in improving their early identification and assessment systems, they often begin working on improving a broader range of post-diagnosis services for children and families. There continues to be opportunities for new communities to join CAM.
CAM is supported through the UW LEND program, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Medical Home Leadership Network (MHLN). The goal of this work is to establish coordinated and accessible systems of care enabling families to receive timely and appropriate developmental screening and support through the diagnostic process for all developmental concerns. This includes working with the multidisciplinary diagnostic centers across the state, the local school districts, community health providers, early childhood providers, public health and many others. It also includes identifying the training and technical assistance needs of communities in an effort to improve the early identification of developmental concerns for all children, and providing that training locally.
The CAM project grew out of a summit in 2009 held by the state Washington Autism Advisory Council and has benefited greatly from the active support of the council as a whole. Generous volunteer technical assistance from individual council members has been particularly valuable for the community coalitions. Dr. Glenn Tripp, Medical Director, Developmental Services at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma and Dr. Charles Cowan, Medical Director of the Autism Center at Seattle Children's have provided valuable regular in-person presentations, consultation and community dialogues with CAM communities over the past three years.
The initial communities that began this process during the 2009-2011 period used the Tiers to Autism Diagnosis Pyramid as the organizing framework for their discussion. Other products from this project include:
In June of 2013 Clark and Spokane Counties held facilitated community discussions with the emphasis around General Developmental Screening. An updated pyramid, Tiers to Developmental Diagnosis and Referral for Services, (table) was developed as the organizing framework for these discussions. The Community Asset Mapping Toolkit is a collection of the work we have done around CAM over the past 3 years. It is a place for us to describe our work and for groups to access this information to promote this process in their community. The toolkit is divided into chapters including an overview of CAM, getting started, templates to use in your community, products from other communities, and other resources.
Examples of Local Tools Developed
The Lewis County Autism Coalition has developed several tools as part of their CAM work. See the Coalition's website for more details: www.lcautism.org/
- Roadmap for Parents in the community to identify early signs of autism and find appropriate resources: English Spanish
- The School Medical Autism Review Team (S.M.A.R.T.) continues to meet twice a month to share information about children who need further diagnositic evaluation for autism and coordinated services locally. LEND trainee Maureen Turner, Psy.D, developed an ASD Communication Form for primary care providers and school personnel to use to share information about children with ASD concerns they jointly care for.
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