Autism CARES Grantees Share Resources, Best Practices for Identification and Intervention

December 5, 2015

ITAC, in collaboration with SPHARC and HRSA-MCHB, hosted the Autism CARES (Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support) Grantee Meeting on July 16-17, 2015 in Bethesda, Md.  This bi-annual meeting was an opportunity for 180 MCHB-funded Autism CARES legislation grantees - representing research, training, and state implementation stakeholders - to share information about activities within their respective network, discuss emerging trends, and facilitate meaningful collaboration.  This year's theme was "Implementing Evidence-Based Practices in Real World Settings," and meeting activities addressed both identification and intervention.

The meeting kicked off with an energizing keynote about the relationship between intervention development and community outcomes from David Mandell, ScD of the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.  Each day included a panel discussion ("Advances in Identification" and "Innovations in Intervention") followed by small group discussions that allowed participants to dive deeper into areas of practice such as communication and social skills, mental health, and the transition to adulthood.  Grantees had an opportunity to showcase their work in one of ten topical poster symposia; they also heard from several federal representatives and autism community stakeholders during two "Partnerships and Policy" sessions.

To capture this information and encourage ongoing collaboration, ITAC created an online archive of all meeting materials: presentation slides, electronic posters, notes from topical small group discussions, and an annotated resource document called "Identification of Autism in Young Children..." that can be used by CARES grantees and the general public alike.

ITAC is already working with SPHARC, HRSA-MCHB, and grantee representatives to plan virtual CARES activities for 2016.  Please contact Ben Kaufman ([email protected]) for more information and stay tuned for updates in the coming months.