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 State Spotlight: Washington

OverviewWashington State.jpg

Washington encompasses over 66,000 square miles of the northwest corner of the United States. There is a need to increase access to comprehensive, coordinated health care and related services for WA children and youth with ASD/DD and their families to initiate earlier diagnosis, intervention, and family support services.

Grantee Team

The team is led by the Washington State Department of Health, Division of Prevention and Community Health, Access, Systems and Coordination Section. Partners include Medicaid, Parts B and C, UW Medical Home Partnership, LEND, AAP chapter, the Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy, Northwest Autism Center, Open Doors for Multicultural Families, Family Voices and Parent to Parent, and Seattle Children’s Autism Center. 

Project Activities

Washington’s Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disabilities Project (AS3D) project aims to:

  1. Improve access to interventions for children, youth and families with ASD/DD, including those in medically underserved and rural areas, by increasing the availability, timeliness, quality, and interconnectedness of identification/screening, referral, and diagnosis/evaluation services.
  2. Empower families with children and youth with ASD/DD to partner with professionals in decision-making related to individual, community, and statewide systems care.
  3. Strengthen the policies state-level leadership and systems-level integration needed to ensure the timely identification of children and youth with ASD/DD and access to family-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, and culturally and linguistically competent services. A systematic approach to overcoming these and other barriers around the access to needed care for children and youth with ASD/DD will be developed at the state level to ensure that children and their families have access to a system of care that is easy to use, culturally competent, comprehensive, coordinated, and family-centered.
Examples of planned activities include:
  • Shared Resource: AS3D will use the Community Asset Mapping (CAM) model to create community teams to improve developmental and ASD screening, and increase referral rates through community shared resources. Two CAM communities will be identified each project year in medically underserved rural communities to 1) improve Universal Developmental Screening and ASD screening in communities 2) increase referral rates to early intervention (EI) services and 3) create and/or strengthen community-based shared resources. AS3D will also develop or enhance electronic resource databases such as medicalhome.org and in-person communication platforms, such as the statewide Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Communication Network. ASD3 will collaborate with the CSHCN D-70 grant’s statewide shared resource for CYSHCN – WithinReach – to include ASD/DD resources and expand and bolster awareness of WithinReach.
  • Family Navigation: AS3D will focus on strengthening the referral network and technical assistance available for current providers of family navigation services statewide, supporting existing mechanisms for families to learn skills to support shared decision-making and expanding the availability of family navigator services for all families. DOH will partner with Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy (WAAA), Northwest Autism Center (NAC) and Open Doors for Multicultural Families (ODMF) to create and conduct training modules and provide follow-up technical assistance to organizations and individuals within each region of the state who are providing some level of family navigation services. In-person and telehealth trainings will focus on topics such as cultural/linguistic competency, family self efficacy, implementing cultural brokering models and referring families for more complex system navigation when needed.
  • Telehealth: AS3D will conduct a statewide telehealth capacity assessment and develop a  strategic plan to maximize existing infrastructure for ASD/DD screening, diagnosis/evaluation, and accessing intervention services. Additionally, AS3D will facilitate trainings around how to use and bill for telehealth to a variety of stakeholders: including primary care providers, neurodevelopmental centers, Centers of Excellence, ABA providers, family navigators and CAM communities. These trainings will also be conducted using telehealth technology to ensure maximum availability and participation.

For more information:

Website: http://www.doh.wa.gov/AboutUs/ProgramsandServices/PreventionandCommunityHealth/OfficeofHealthyCommunities/HealthyStartsandTransitions

To view Washington's past ASD/DD grant profile (2008-2011), click here.

To access more of Washington State's resources through SPHARC's search engine, click here.