Free Autism Training Opportunities: Support for Medical Homes Caring for Children and Youth with ASD

Kate Orville, MPH
Director, WA State Medical Home Partnerships Project for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
University of Washington

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with reported prevalence in the United States of 1 in 54 children. (AAP News, 2020) Most Pediatric primary care providers will have children with ASD as patients, yet many feel unprepared to handle the complex needs of these patients. New resources and training can help.

Updated AAP Clinical Guidelines
The AAP published an update —Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder –  in January 2020 to its autism guidance that includes discussion of diagnosis, early intervention, genetics, co-occurring medical conditions and lifespan issues. This guidance and other resources are available at

PediaLink Course on Autism Spectrum Disorder
Developed by the AAP Council on Children with Disabilities Autism Subcommittee and released in May,  this FREE self-paced online PediaLink course educates pediatric clinicians about evidence-based practices in caring for children with autism spectrum disorder. The course consists of 7 modules, each grounded in recommendations from the AAP clinical report. The modules take approximately 6.5 hours to complete and are eligible for free AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and MOC 2 points.

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe strategies for pediatric clinicians and families to prepare for and successfully implement an office visit for a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Module 1)
  • Define and report clinical symptoms of ASD using the DSM-5 Framework
  • Describe effective methods for screening and early identification of ASD in primary care
  • Report the components of diagnostic, medical and etiological evaluation(s) of children with ASD.
  • Discuss interventions for children with ASD
  • Identify and manage co-occurring conditions in children with ASD.
  • Discuss appropriate referral, follow up and care coordination for children with ASD and their families
  • Report strategies to partner with families and caregivers of children with ASD.

Autism Center of Excellence Certification Trainings – now virtual – July 31 and Sept 18, 2020

Children with autism concerns face long waits for autism evaluation and diagnosis in Washington.  This is particularly true for children with Medicaid insurance and/or from rural or other underserved communities. COVID-19 is only making the wait times worse.  The Health Care Authority (HCA) contracts with Seattle Children’s to provide Center of Excellence (COE) Certification trainings to enable MDs, DOs, ARNPs, and NDs to become COEs and diagnose children with autism.

Seattle Children’s Autism Center clinicians Dr. Gary Stobbe and Jim Mancini (MS, CCC-SLP) and guest faculty provide the training.  Two trainings were cancelled this spring due to COVID-19, but because of strong clinician interest in the training, new online trainings will take place July 31 and Sept 18 (flyer).  Participants are required to complete the 7 AAP ASD modules in advance and attend a live 9-4 pm Zoom video conference training.  The live trainings will include more detailed information about the COE process, state and local resources, and connecting with regional peers. Choosing to become a recognized COE after the training allows you to diagnose children with autism for Medicaid and prescribe ABA treatment if appropriate.  A COE autism diagnosis (with severity requirements) is also recognized by DD for eligibility for their services.

For more information about the COE training or to register go to or contact Kate Orville at for COE training or connecting with other community partners involved in this work.