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Autism Navigator™

Autism Navigator™  for Early Intervention Providers. Investigators at the FSU Autism Institute are developing the Autism Navigator™ for Early Intervention Providers, a web-based instructional system to address the pressing and significant need to increase the capacity of early intervention (EI) service providers to appropriately serve young children with ASD. The Autism Navigator builds on the longitudinal research of the FIRST WORDS® Project directed by Dr. Amy Wetherby, the intervention framework and research of the Early Social Interaction Project directed by Drs. Amy Wetherby and Juliann Woods, and the curriculum to train EI providers developed by Nancy Wiseman, Founder and President of First Signs. The Autism Navigator™ consists of an interactive web-based instructional tool that includes the following content units: 1) early detection; 2) collaborating and supporting families; 3) developmental perspectives, 4) evidence-based intervention strategies and supports; 5) prioritizing intervention outcomes; and later, units 6) determining the meaning of challenging behavior; and 7) positive behavior support will be added. The content units within the Autism Navigator will be designed for continuing education at the knowledge and application level and then for ongoing learning and technical support at the mastery level, using effective strategies for diverse adult learners and capitalizing on interactive capabilities of the web. It will provide hundreds of brief video clips to illustrate core diagnostic features of ASD, strategies for effectively coaching families, and evidence-based intervention strategies embedded with the natural environment for young children with ASD.

The Autism Navigator is designed to support a mentoring-coaching model for delivering instructional content to EI providers to increase their competency in delivering services to children with or at risk for ASD. The instruction will focus on delivering services within the IDEA Part C system using effective consulting and coaching strategies to support embedded intervention in everyday routines, activities and places in collaboration with families. The curriculum will include video examples, online presentations with mentor notes and other printed instructional materials in downloadable PDF format. The on-line content will provide the tools needed by regional teams to profile strengths, needs, and priorities and implement services to appropriately serve children with or at risk for ASD based on evidenced-based practice. The Autism Navigator for EI Providers is under development with contracts from the EI systems in three founding states—Florida, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, who will have access to the Autism Navigator for their EI providers for a period of 5 years. A beta version of the knowledge and application level will be ready for beta testing in January 2012 and the Autism Navigator for EI providers will be rolled out across these three states in the Summer 2012.

Autism Navigator™ for Primary Care Physicians. Investigators at the FSU Autism Institute are developing the Autism Navigator™ for Primary Care Physicians, a web-based instructional system to address the pressing and significant need to increase the capacity of primary care physicians (PCPs) to improve early detection of ASD and to appropriately screen and make referrals for children with or at risk for ASD to help families access early intervention. The Autism Navigator for PCPs is under development with a contract from the Marcus Autism Center of the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA), who will have access to the Autism Navigator for their PCPs for a period of 5 years. A beta version of the knowledge and application level will be ready for beta testing in July 2012 and the Autism Navigator for Primary Care Physicians will be rolled out in CHOA pediatric practices in the Atlanta region in the Fall 2012.

Producing Compassionate Physicians for the Twenty-First Century...