New R41 Funded to Expand Pathways to Early Screening and Intervention for Underserved Toddlers with ASD

PROGRAM: University of Washington PATHWAYS Project

December 18, 2017

The UW READi Lab received a 3-year HRSA award in September 2017 for a grant entitled, "Expanding Pathways to Early Screening and Intervention for Underserved Toddlers with ASD." The purpose of the PATHWAYS project is to reduce health care disparities and improve early access to ASD-specialized services for low-income English- and Spanish-speaking families. We are partnering with health care, early intervention, and early learning agencies/programs. In the first phase, we are conducting focus groups with community providers and families to understand the barriers and facilitators to communicating about ASD concerns. Based on the information obtained, we will design shared decision-making materials for use in the second phase of the grant.  

In the implementation phase, we will conduct training workshops for providers on recognizing the early signs of ASD, using ASD screening measures, and talking to families about ASD. Primary Care Providers will receive training on the use of a tablet-based, online version of the M-CHAT-R/F with children between 16 and 30 months. Early Intervention and Early Learning Providers will also receive the online M-CHAT-R/F, and in addition will learn to use the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT) and an evidence-based, ASD-specific intervention (Reciprocal Imitation Training). Different sets of families will be recruited before and after the training workshops to investigate the effectiveness of the PATHWAYS model for improving outcomes including toddlers' social communication and parents' stress and well-being.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under R41MC31076 Autism Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Principal Investigator: Wendy L. Stone, PhD
Project Manager: Lisa V. Ibanez, PhD