Autism Center of Excellence (COE) Certification

Medical Home - Calendar of EventsUniversity of Washington experts provide the Autism Center of Excellence (COE) trainings, in partnership with Seattle Children’s Autism Center and communities, through a contract with the Health Care Authority (HCA).

Register for the next scheduled COE  training:

Upcoming Training Flyer

Purpose of the COE Training

  • To increase the number of qualified clinicians (COEs) across Washington State who can appropriately diagnose children and youth with autism
  • Help children and families access needed services as appropriate, including writing a Medicaid/Apple Health prescription for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). COE required for Managed Care Organization (MCO) prescription approval.

Who is Eligible to Become a COE

  • The HCA determines which primary care and other clinicians  can become COEs. Currently the list includes medical physicians working in primary care, specialty physicians, clinical psychologists, ARNPs and pediatric naturopaths.
  • As of Oct 17, 2019 , an autism diagnosis from a COE provider (except for naturopath physicians) can also be used by a family for Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) eligibility.

What the Training Covers

  • Evaluation and diagnosis of children exhibiting signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and determining which evidence –based treatments, including ABA, are likely to be helpful for individual children
  • Community and state resources for children and youth with autism and their families
  • The lived experience of autism from autistics and family members- what they would like you as a health care professional to know
  • How to write an approved prescription for ABA treatment
  • Billing
  • Paperwork and process to complete to become a HCA recognized COE after the training

COE Training Logistics


Because of COVID-19 concerns, we have currently moved the COE training to a hybrid online model.

Priority is given to primary care providers who can diagnose as COEs (including clinical staff such as PAs who may be part of a COE’s clinical team), then other clinicians who can diagnose (psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists) and community partners supporting COEs in their work (e.g. School Medical Autism Review Teams (SMART), school clinicians, early intervention providers, autism treatment providers etc.).

Steps for the COE training course:


  • Complete the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) PediaLink course “Identifying and Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Course for Pediatric Clinicians” developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities Subcommittee. (you will also be sent information when you register)
    • You can create a free account and register for the course with  AAP/Pedialinks at course checkout.
    • The course, a combination of videos and readings, educates pediatric clinicians about evidence-based practices in care for children with ASD and is grounded in recommendations from the AAP clinical report, “Identification, Evaluation and Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
    • The 7 modules take approximately 6.5  hours to complete and are eligible for free AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™  (you can also earn free Maintenance of Certification( MOC)) Part 2 points but these are not required for the COE training)
  • Complete a brief online survey from the COE organizers after completing the Pedialinks course that helps faculty understand your confidence levels for each topic and specific questions you have for the training. This helps faculty tailor the training to your needs.
  • The on-line Zoom Videoconference training is 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour off for lunch.  It includes a facilitated discussion led by Gary Stobbe, MD and Jim Mancini MS, CCC-SLP as well as other expert panelists to respond to questions posed via the online survey.  There is Washington State specific information about how to do an autism evaluation that meets Health Care Authority criteria and how to do this in your clinic. We also have regional breakouts to allow deeper discussion with regional experts and community/agency partners.

More information about COEs and Autism Diagnosis in Washington State.

october, 2022