Map of Washington State showing locations of autism centers of excellence and Project ECHO locations

Free Autism Training Opportunities: Diagnosing and Providing Care for Autistic Children and Youth and Their Families

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

Virtual Autism Center of Excellence (COE) Certification Training Friday December 10, 2021

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. The Health Care Authority (HCA) contracts with the University of Washington’s Center on Human Development and Disability to provide Center of Excellence (COE) Certification trainings to enable MDs, DOs, ARNPs, and NDs to become COEs and diagnose children and youth with autism.

COE course participants are required to complete in advance the free American Academy of Pediatrics/Pedialinks’ online course “Identifying and Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Course for Pediatric Clinicians.” These seven self- paced modules come with free 6.5 CME category 1 credits.

Neurologist Dr. Gary Stobbe and Jim Mancini (MS, CCC-SLP), other expert clinicians including a primary care provider doing COE work in his or her practice, provide the live 9-4 pm Zoom video conference training.  The interactive training includes the lived perspective of autistic adults and family members. The training includes more detailed information about screening, evaluation, intervention options, Washington State paperwork for recognized diagnoses, state and local resources, and connecting with regional peers (sample agenda).  Clinicians who have previously gone through the COE training, are welcome to attend part or all of the trainings as guests for a refresher (just note this on your registration).

If you choose to become a COE after the training, you can diagnose children and youth 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. COEs can limit who they will evaluate on the online COE list (e.g. only your own patients, age of children etc.)

Becoming a COE also enables clinicians to join Project ECHO Autism Washington, a free twice a month ZOOM 90 minute case-based consultation and training program focusing on autism diagnosis and ongoing care management.  Seventy-two clinician COEs participate in two cohorts in 2021. New cohorts start in January, 2022. Each session provides up to 1.5 Category 1 CME.

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. For information about Project ECHO Autism, contact Sennie Rose, Project Coordinator at

Map of Washington State showing locations of autism centers of excellence and Project ECHO locations