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 State Spotlight: Rhode Island

Overview Rhode Island.jpg

Rhode Island is the smallest and most densely populated state of the original demonstration grants.  National Survey data shows that 90.7% of children with special health care needs have a usual source for both sick and well care. However, RI falls short in the area of coordinated care to ensure that children who receive a screening and/or diagnosis also receive appropriate services. Only 58.4% of families felt that they received effective care coordination when needed, and only 20.7% said they received any help with arranging and coordinating care. RI does well at referring and screening at-risk children, but stumbles in the acquisition of a proper diagnosis and the many interventions needed to support the development and health of a child with ASD/DD..

Grantee Team

The grant team is led by The Autism Project. Partners include the Rhode Island Department of Health Screening to Succeed program, Early Intervention, United Way’s 2-1-1 program, the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center, and other initiatives.


Project Activities 

Rhode Island’s Project to Improve Delivery of Education, Navigation, and Telehealth Information for Families, professionals, and Youth (Project IDENTIFY) aims to improve RI’s system-level care integration for children and youth ASD/DD and their families. Project IDENTIFY will particularly target families from the medically-underserved communities of Central Falls, Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and the Narragansett Indian community in Charlestown.

Examples of planned activities include:

  • Shared Resource: TAP will leverage its existing position as RI’s family resource center to increase care coordination for children and youth at-risk for ASD/DD and their families. In particular, TAP aims to strengthen its partnership with the RI Department of Health (RI DOH) Screening to Succeed program. This will allow for continued information sharing by all key stakeholders on resources and programs in RI serving at-risk populations and others in need of early intervention and support. TAP will also work with RI DOH to expand and populate the medical home portal to ensure information on ASD/DD resources in RI is current and that families and providers are aware of and make use of the portal.
  • Family Navigation: TAP has extensive experience utilizing family navigation and plans to add six new navigators to support families, educators, and community members. In addition, TAP aims to build new and strengthen existing relationships between family navigators, clinics and other community organizations by providing individualized curriculum-based trainings and support services on-site at the various community program locations throughout the state, as well as at TAP.  Trainings will be provided both in person and via web technologies.
  • Telehealth: RI’s team will partner with RI DOH/Title V on their new medical home portal to bolster local early identification/ASD resources for families’ and providers’ use. The team will develop and provide live and archived online training/webinars to families and providers that will be available via tablet, cell phones and laptops. These trainings will highlight the importance of early detection and diagnosis of ASD and the services available to children with ASD/DD before and after 37 months of age. There will also be trainings for parents and caregivers to have appropriate information to make educated decisions regarding their child.  As mentioned, family navigators will use m-health technologies to communicate with other navigators and families.

For more information:

To view Rhode Island’s past ASD/DD grantee profile (2009-2011), click here.

To access more of Rhode Island's resources through SPHARC's search engine, click here.