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New Alliances Improve Access to Local Developmental Services

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Community Asset Mapping (CAM) Updates

Local Health Jurisdiction’s and Community Asset Mapping: Local success stories of implementing and sustaining the work

On October 17, 2016 a group of diverse partners from across Washington State, serving children birth to 5, were invited to share their experiences at a meeting. The goal of the meeting  was to convene a conversation around improving access to developmental and behavioral screening, assessment, referrals and services across Washington State.  Spokane and Snohomish Counties were invited to share their experiences in promoting Universal Developmental Screening within their communities.  Agenda and Powerpoint Presentation

Community Asset Mapping (CAM) in WA State

Through a facilitated process called Community Asset Mapping (CAM), communities have expanded existing resources and unlocked new energy. The goal of this work is to establish coordinated and accessible systems of care enabling families to receive timely and appropriate developmental screening and support through the diagnostic process for all developmental concerns. This includes working with the multidisciplinary diagnostic centers across the state, the local school districts, community health providers, early childhood providers, public health and many others.

Nine Community Asset Mapping Project (CAM) Communities across Washington have improved early identification and diagnosis of children with autism and other developmental concerns. Eight communities have participated in a formal version of CAM with outside technical assistance and have gone on to develop additional activities.

The first CAM communities focused on children with or at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Through the federal Great MINDS (Medical Homes Include Developmental Screening) grant (2011-14), Clark, Spokane and Snohomish counties have expanded the focus to all young children. After CAM communities have made inroads in improving their early identification and assessment systems, they often begin working on improving a broader range of post-diagnosis services for children and families.

April 4, 2014 CAM Stakeholders Meeting
Stakeholders from CAM communities around Washington State met for a half- day meeting to share strategies and products with each other. In preparation for the meeting, communities prepared overviews of their activities to date. A summary of the meeting is included in the E-Update, Spring 2014. Click here for a meeting agenda.

Support for CAM in WA State

Support for CAM comes from the University of Washington LEND program, the Washington State Department of Health, and the WA State Medical Home Partnerships Project (MHPP).

History of CAM in WA State

The CAM project grew out of a summit in 2009 held by the Washington Autism Advisory Council and has benefited greatly from the active support of the council as a whole. Generous volunteer technical assistance from individual council members has been particularly valuable for the community coalitions. Dr. Glenn Tripp, Medical Director, Developmental Services at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma, Dr. Charles Cowan, former Medical Director of the Autism Center at Seattle Children’s and Dr. Wendy Stone, Director of the UW Research in Early Autism Detection and Intervention (READI) Lab have provided valuable regular in-person presentations, consultation and community dialogues with CAM communities over the past several years. Medical Home Leadership Network (MHLN) teams have been at the forefront of these efforts.

E-Update: The Community Asset Mapping (CAM) Project is Now Four Years Old!,Spring 2014

CAM with Autism Focus

The initial communities that began this process during the 2009-2011 period used the Tiers to Autism Diagnosis Pyramid as the organizing framework for their discussion. Other products from this project include:

CAM with Universal Developmental Screening Focus


In June of 2013 Clark and Spokane Counties held facilitated community discussions with the emphasis around General Developmental Screening. Snohomish County held their facilitated discussion in June of 2014. An updated pyramid, Tiers to Developmental Diagnosis and Referral for Services, (table) was developed as the organizing framework for these discussions.

The Benton-Franklin CAM initiative now focuses on UDS; Walla Walla and Yakima include both UDS and autism work.

SMART, Tools and Resources Developed by CAM Communities


General Developmental Screening – Milestones Roadmap

General Developmental Screening and Early Intervention

    • Clark County developed a brochure to explain developmental screening and early intervention to families “Early Screening and Intervention for Developmental Delay is Key to Helping Your Child Reach Their Maximum Potential” — click on this printable brochure pdf for more information.
    • Benton-Franklin Counties brochures adopted from Clark County:
      • Developmental and Early Intervention Services For Children and Families in Benton & Franklin Counties, WA (English)
      • Desarrollo y Servicios de Intervención Temprana para los niños y las familias en los condados de Benton y Franklin, Washington (Spanish)


School Medical Autism Review Team (SMART)

  • The School Medical Autism Review Team (SMART) engages school and medical professionals in a team setting to review a child’s needs and to ensure appropriate services that can support their success in school and life. These tools were developed and piloted by members of the Lewis County Autism Coalition (Read more).


The Skagit County Autism Partnerships facilitated a focus group attended by 7 doctors from around the county. The purpose of this focus group was to identify ways to improve communication between county-wide service providers (B-3, OT, Speech, School Districts) and medical providers in Skagit County.
Summary Report of the Medical Practitioner Focus Group


The Lewis County Autism Coalition has developed several tools as part of their CAM work. See the Coalition’s website for more detail on their site.

Community Asset Mapping Toolkit

The Community Asset Mapping Toolkit is a collection of the work we have done with CAM since 2010. It is a place for us to describe our work and for groups to access this information to promote this process in their community. The toolkit is divided into chapters including an overview of CAM, getting started, templates to use in your community, outcomes and products, and evaluation resources, and additional resources.

WA State CAM Contacts

The WA State CAM Contacts document lists the key contacts and top priorities for each of the nine Community Asset Mapping communities.


Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Launch of the federal multi-agency initiative, Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! brings attention and resources to early detection of children at risk for adverse developmental and behavioral outcomes. Visit Watch Me Thrive! for more information.

Northwest Bulletin: The spring 2014 issue of the Northwest Bulletin focuses on developmental screening for young children, including resources for Washington state. It is the first of a two-part series: the fall issue will focus on developmental screening for school-aged children and adolescents.

Book: Ignite! Getting Your Community Coalition “Fired Up” for Change by Frances Dunn Butterfoss is a concise, user-friendly book that was created precisely for community practitioners, leaders and activists who want to build and sustain innovative organizations and coalitions to improve the health and well-being of their communities. For a concise overview of the book, click here. Books are availble to stakeholders from the WA State CAM communities through the Medical Home Partnerships Project. Contact Amy Carlsen at for more information. Individual copies are also available for purchase at

Website: Community Tool Box This free on-line resource connects community coalitions with practical information to assess, plan, act, evaluate, and sustain their efforts.

Grant opportunities: Communities have been energized through collaboration with Wendy Stone, PhD. and director of the UW READi Lab. Through funding from Dr. Stone’s ASAP! Grant, local medical and early childhood providers have been trained on improving diagnosis in young children with the use of the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT). In addition, early childhood providers and parents have received training in an early intervention technique to assist young children with autism called Reciprocal Imitation Training (RIT).