Contained in this section is a sampling of outcomes and products produced by communities in Washington State that have piloted the CAM process.
Some of the key outcomes include:
An Organizing Framework:
The formal CAM process, utilizing skilled facilitators and the “Tiers to Autism Diagnosis Pyramid”, was a pivotal organizing structure for the local community coalitions. This framework facilitated targeted community dialogue, and helped to prioritize specific areas where the community wanted to focus their efforts.
- Tiers to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis
The CAM structure was helpful as it allowed input from all who chose to participate…It allowed time for discussion but the facilitation kept the session flowing toward results …The ability to narrow down what seems like an endless topic into a few priority actions was very helpful and I’ve applied the process to meetings since then. – Local community provider
Expanded community “Connections”:
Expanded communication and collaboration at a systems level between providers, agencies, and families was achieved in the local community and beyond.
- Regularly scheduled meetings of community-based autism coalitions brought local providers from medical clinics, schools, early intervention, mental health, childcare, community colleges, etc. together to talk and collaborate with one another. This facilitated an appreciation for existing capacity within the community.
- Avenues for direct communication were opened between local providers in rural communities with experts in the regional diagnostic centers. Developmental pediatricians from the regional centers traveled to the community to meet with local providers and families and conduct informative trainings and discussions. This ignited 2-way collaborations for more efficient diagnostic and assessment services .
- These newly established collaborations led to autism trainings and workshops conducted within the community providing greater access for local providers and families to evidence-based information on autism diagnosis and intervention. Some of the CAM communities have now established ongoing trainings and information dissemination led by members of the community. Lewis County Autism Coalition Conference
The helpfulness [of the coalition structure] was that we are building connections with other people in the state – at the universities, institutions, and other organizations…It helps me access resources for the folks in my community. It is fabulous. This has been such an energizing structure and experience in terms of helping us get outside our little silos. – Local community provider
Increased access to a timely diagnosis and services:
Several new regional diagnostic centers have been established in rural communities. These centers look different from each other and are unique to the needs of a given community. Their services are provided through a variety of means including working with the professionals in the school districts, bringing in a psychologist who can provide diagnosis locally, and collaborating with larger diagnostic centers for expert advice on the diagnosis of more ‘challenging’ children. An example is the Sendan Center- Bellingham, WA .
Community roadmaps to local services:
Several communities developed customized roadmaps designed to guide families and providers to streamline access to diagnosis and intervention services for children with ASD. See.
In a time of governmental cutbacks and uncertainty around health care reform, it has been powerful to see communities come together to creatively use existing strengths and capacity for enhanced systems of service for children with ASD and their families. The networks that have been established across the state are the strong force that will continue to carry this project forward.