The Parent Autism Support Service (PASS) at the University of WA LEND: A unique model of care coordination for families of children diagnosed with autism

December 13, 2018

The Parent Autism Support Service (PASS) at the University of Washington Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (UW LEND) is a program to support parents in the early months after a diagnosis of autism.  The PASS Program is run by the Family Leadership Discipline of the UW LEND program.  This program serves children seen in the Child Development Clinic at the University of Washington Center on Human Development and Disability.

Families receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Child Development Clinic get phone follow-up at 1 week after their diagnosis and then monthly for 4 months by UW LEND Family faculty and trainees.  If possible, a representative from the Family Leadership Discipline attends the parent conference when a diagnosis is being offered and makes contact with the family.  A representative of the PASS Program is available by phone or email on Mondays to make calls and answer emails.

PASS resources given to families include support in getting into Birth-3 services, information and support for accessing coverage for ABA therapy, referrals for follow-up medical appointments, help applying for DDA and grants that support funding for autism services, information and support to navigate school services, and referral for emotional support for parents.  These resources are individualized to the family's needs within their local community.

The PASS Program has been in existence for six years, and served over 160 families.  Families on Medicaid comprise approximately 30% of the families served.  This unique program continues evolve. In 2018, services were expanded to children seen in the Down Syndrome Specialty Clinic, supporting families whose child with Down Syndrome is receiving a dual diagnosis of autism. 

The PASS Program serves a very specific need in making visible the needs of families and helping them to get those needs met.  Without this important service, many of these families would not have the ability to access the services necessary to support their child or themselves.

For more information, contact Amy Carlsen, RN at carlsa@uw.edu