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DC Autism Collaborative (DC-AC)
Addressing the Gap
The DC Autism Collaborative (DC-AC) is a multidisciplinary, public-private coalition of professionals, community leaders and parents to strategically address barriers to ASD care and advocate for solutions that will increase early and equitable access to high-quality ASD diagnosis, treatment and coordinated care.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 54 children in the United States. Children with ASD who receive early intervention have better outcomes. Yet, while ASD can be diagnosed as early as age 1-2 years, most children are not diagnosed until later with significant racial and socioeconomic disparities. Even once a diagnosis has been made, children with ASD often need to see several different medical, psychological and educational specialty service providers, which can be confusing and challenging for families to navigate.
These challenges disproportionately affect low-income children of color. Although a number of organizations serving children with ASD exist in the District of Columbia, there was no city-wide convening group focused on addressing these barriers and improving ASD care.
To address this gap, the DC Autism Collaborative (DC-AC) was launched in the summer of 2020 with startup funding from the Children's Health Board. Take a look at the participating organizations.
Areas of Focus
In September 2020, group members completed a needs assessment and identified priority areas to be addressed through the collaborative. The four subgroups that were created to begin tackling identified priorities and targeting specific goals to be addressed in the next 6-12 months, include:
For questions or to learn more about the DC Autism Collaborative, please email Serene Habayeb.