Act Early Network News, Spring Issue, 2014

Extending Diagnostic Services into Medically Underserved Communities

May 23, 2014

In February of 2008, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control began holding regional summits to bring key state leaders from early intervention and early childhood communities for the purpose of enhancing relationships and collaborations to increase services for families and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disabilities. As a result of the Summits, the Technical Assistance System Network's Autism and Tertiary Behavior Support Project (TASN ATBS), the University of Kansas Medical Center's Center for Child Health and Development (CCHD) and Department of Telemedicine & Telehealth collaborated to develop a statewide system of screening and diagnostic services. With the support of the Children's Cabinet and Trust Fund (http://www.kschildrenscabinet.org) training continues with Part C networks and Autism Interdisciplinary Teams (AIT) of local school districts on the assessment tools that are used to diagnose a child with autism. As a result of the training initiative, it's been possible to reduce the evaluation wait time for a child and their family from 4-6 months to 45 days, thus allowing service providers to develop interventions tailored to the needs of the child.  For more information, please contact Sarah Hoffmeier atshoffmeier@kumc.edu.