2017 Washington Autism Advisory Council (WAAC) Meeting

“Improving access to evidence based treatment and medical services for persons with Autism throughout the state.”

November 3, 2017   9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Critical Issues Impacting Autistic Adults– Zack Siddeek, MSW-C

Overview of medical and health issues for persons with ASD/DD (Autism Speaks Health Report)- Alan Gill, MD

State of the science report on autism research, science, and genetics– Raphael Bernier, PhD

Restrictive Avoidant Eating– Barb Buchanan, RD and Danielle Dolezal, PhD., BCBA-D

HCA Updates w/10 minutes Q&A- Becky Peters

School Based Health Services and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

Arzu Forough, Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy

Nancy Rosenberg, Ph.D., BCBA-D (slides)

  • Why & how is ABA vital in accessing education
  • Teacher training, UW BCBA program (capacity or # of students per cohort), school districts that have hired or employ present or former UW students

Vanessa Tucker, Ph.D., BCBA-D (slides)

  • From Pacific Lutheran University. How ABA is integrated into various school districts.  Conditions where children are able to access ABA

Lionel Enns,  Ph.D., BCBA-D (slides)

  • Co-occurring mental health conditions that impact access to education, what other behavior therapies, the role of mental health providers for students with mental health issues and the need for someone who can treat or refer appropriately.

Arzu Forough, WAAA

  • How is ABA currently funded: Safety net’s threshold & funding criteria
  • SBHS’s classification of ABA, process through which this may change.
  • HCA- Medicaid webinar School-based Health Services Overview
  • Process to remove ABA as a non-covered, realities about funding from legislature, grassroots advocacy, ABA Ad Hoc Committee

March 4, 2016 WAAC Meeting

Location: SeaTac International Airport Conference Center

Meeting Goals:

1. To better understand the needs of adolescents and adults with autism.
2. Share information regarding state resources for adults and adolescent transition
3. Share information regarding model programs for higher education support, residential living, and vocational training and support
4. Share information on appropriate healthcare provision and healthcare access challenges

Agenda with Meeting Minutes


October 9, 2015 WAAC Meeting

Location: SeaTac International Airport Conference Center

 Meeting Goals:

  1. To better understand the needs of adolescents and adults with autism.
  2. To share news and updates about autism specific events, programs, and activities.
  3. Consider improvements made in autism insurance coverage and areas for improvement.
  4. Develop a plan for sustainability of WAAC.

Meeting MinutesAttendees



Welcome and Introductions Amy Huntley, Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy (WAAA)
Professional Development: Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Adolescents and Adults with Autism Panel of Representatives:
  • Dr. Gary Stobbe, Seattle Children’s Autism Center & UW
  • Dr. Beth Ellen Davis, UW LEND
  • Therese Vafaeezadeh, Seattle Children’s  Autism Center & Tavon Center
Presentation from International Meeting for Autism Research Dr. Charles Cowan, Seattle Children’s Autism Center
Update on Community First Choice and new Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) rulesHandouts:


Ann Whitehall, DSHS
Share about 4,000 new Individual and Family Service openingsHandout: IFS and SSP in lieu of IFS: A Side by Side Comparison Sheila Collins, DSHS
Presentation/Discussion on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft report on early screening Dr. Wendy Stone, UW READI Lab
Working lunch opportunity to network Membership
Update and Activities – Information about organizational activities and other statewide events of interest to the autism community Membership
Updates from the Health Care Authority (HCA) on autism coverage, waitlist numbers, and service locations; and efforts of the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) collaborative Lin Payton, HCA
Updates on insurance coverage and challenges that still exist for children and adults accessing care Arzu Forough, WAAA
Discussion of future coordination and sustainability of WAAC, revisit goals and mission of WAAC Maria Nardella, DOH

History of the Washington State Autism Advisory Council

The Council began as the Combatting Autism Advisory Council (CAAC)  in 2009 to guide the work of two competitive federal grants awarded by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services under the Combating Autism Act of 2006.  The two federal grants were awarded to:

The work of the Council built on the recommendations of the Caring for Washington Individuals with Autism Task Force (created in 2005 by Senate Bill 5321) in its December 2006 Final Report to the Governor and State Legislature.

The Council has collaborated on many activities including:

  • Annual summits for Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Center Teams and Communities
  • Community Asset Mapping to improve collaborative identification and services for children with autism and related disabilities and their families
  • Autism screening and assessment training for community service providers
  • Identification and promotion of materials for families who have children and youth on the autism spectrum
  • Promoting universal developmental screening

The original three-year grants ended in the summer of 2011, but the Washington Autism Advisory Council and many of its activities continue. The original “backbone” organizational support for the WAAC was provided by DOH and UW LEND.  LEND provided support into 2012, followed by the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) from 2012 through Spring 2015.  The most recent meeting October 9, 2015 was coordinated by  Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy (WAAA), with space provided by the DDC.  Several organizations including WAAA (Redmond), the Northwest Autism Center (Spokane), and the Lynchpin Foundation (Yakima) have taken the lead in organizing the next meeting in March, 2016.