Innovative Approaches Initiative to Host Autism Summit Oct. 5 at Watauga Medical Center

Published Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 11:45 am

Residents of the High Country are invited to join a Watauga County group in creating change for families affected by autism. The Autism Subcommittee of the Innovative Approaches Initiative through the Appalachian District Health Department is hosting the Autism Summit on Monday, Oct. 5 at the Watauga Medical Center auditorium from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their family members, healthcare providers and members of community organizations are invited to attend the summit to spark community change based on the 2014-2015 Autism Spectrum Needs Assessment survey results.

The Autism Summit is free to attend. Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP at or by calling 828-264-4995 ext. 3120.

The Autism Subcommittee surveyed individuals with ASD, family members of those with ASD, and service providers to understand the needs related to autism in the following North Carolina counties: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey, Watauga and Wilkes. The subcommittee will share survey results at the summit and engage attendees in planning next steps for responding to needs related to autism in the High Country. According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The aim of the Innovative Approaches (IA) initiative is to thoroughly examine and foster improvement for community-wide systems of care that will effectively meet the needs of families of children and youth with special health care needs, resulting in increased family satisfaction with services received and improved outcomes for children and youth with special health care needs.

Contact Maria Julian, the Innovative Approaches Coordinator, at 828-264-4995 ext. 3120 or [email protected] or Rebekah Cummings, chairperson of the Autism Subcommittee, at [email protected] with questions or comments regarding the Summit.

The NC Innovative Approaches Initiative is supported through the NC Division of Public Health Children and Youth Branch.



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