Child Development and Parenting

Autism 200 Series

Autism 200 is a series of 90-minute classes for parents and caregivers of children with autism who wish to better understand autism spectrum disorder. Faculty from Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington and community providers teach the classes. Each class includes time for questions. Read the series flyer (PDF).

Classes are held on most third Thursdays of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Until further notice, we will not have in-person Autism 200 gatherings in Wright Auditorium. This is part of a hospital-wide advisory related to meetings at the hospital. We will continue to livestream our presentations; please see below.

Watch Online

You can live-stream classes using Facebook Live on Seattle Children’s Facebook page. If you are with a school, community organization or group who would like host a community event and would like to discuss other teleconferencing options, please email us.

View Past Lectures

Lectures are also recorded and can be viewed following the lecture. View past lectures. You can view all Autism 200 Series lectures from the past two years on the Autism 200 Series YouTube playlist.


Please call Seattle Children’s Autism Center at 206-987-8080 with questions, or email us.

2021 Series Schedule – The full Autism 200 series schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2021 – Advocating for Supports and Services in Washington State

January 21, 2021
Panelists: Stacy Dym, The Arc of Washington State; Jeremy Norden-Paul, the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC); Adana Protonentis, senior consultant, Kindred Leaders, mom of autistic son, member of DDC; Ramona Hattendorf, advocacy director, The Arc of King County

A call to action! 2020 was a tough year: Kids lost access to vital therapies; online learning mostly left behind students with disabilities; and the state floated cuts to long-term supports that would affect job coaching, residential support, respite and more for youths and adults with disabilities and their families. Individuals with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities were left isolated, frustrated, and cut off from meaningful life activities. So what’s ahead for 2021 and the state legislature? You can make a difference! How to get involved to influence what happens next.

Autism 202: A Voice for Severe Autism

February 18, 2021
Presenters: Jill Escher, president, National Council on Severe Autism; Amy Lutz, vice president, National Council on Severe Autism

Many millions of people have traits associated with autism. This presentation will focus on important issues and concerns impacting the growing population of children and adults affected by severe forms of autism or related disorders. This population includes those who, by virtue of any combination of cognitive and functional impairments, require continuous or near-continuous, lifelong services, supports and supervision. Individuals in this category are often nonverbal or have limited use of language, have intellectual impairment, and, in a subset, exhibit challenging behaviors that interfere with safety and well-being.

Autism 203: ABA – What Parents Need To Know

March 18, 2021


  • Katherine Bateman, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA is a Research Scientist and Project Director in the Area of Special Education at the University of Washington
  • Ilene Schwartz, PhD, BCBA-D is a professor of Special Education at the University of Washington and the Director of the Haring Center for Inclusive Education at UW
  • Mendy Minjarez, PhD, is Executive Director, Seattle Children’s Autism Center, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences University of Washington, Director, Applied Behavior Analysis Early Intervention Program, Seattle Children’s Autism Center
  • Nancy Rosenberg, PhD, BCBA-D is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Special Education department at the University of Washington and the Director of the UW Applied Behavior Analysis program

Intervention using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has long been considered an effective and gold standard treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, ABA is frequently misunderstood. Perceptions of ABA have recently been a "hot button" issue, due to reports that this intervention can lead to trauma. In addition, ABA advocates and members of the neurodiversity movement have sometimes been at odds, the former advocating for intensive treatment and the latter arguing that autism must be accepted as a form of diversity. This mixed information can be confusing for parents who are striving to choose the best therapeutic interventions for their child with ASD. This presentation will explore these perceptions of ABA and provide clarification of the scientific evidence for various claims, with the goal of helping parents navigate the confusion and controversy and confidently identify the best therapeutic intervention for their child and family.

Autism 204: Supporting the Autism Community in Central and Eastern Washington

April 15, 2021


  • Jill Bross, MD, FAAP Parkview Medical Group, Grant County
  • Melissa Brooks, RN, Parent to Parent Coordinator, the Arc of Tri-Cities
  • Tracie Hoppis, Washington State Parent to Parent Network Coordinator, Supervisor for Yakima County Children with Special Health Care Needs Program and Yakima County Parent to Parent, Parent - Children’s Village, Yakima
  • Maria Pulido, Community Health Worker, Parent to Parent and Children with Special Health Care Needs Program- Children’s Village, Yakima
  • Lori Garcia, MSW, Family Resources Coordinator and Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Program Coordinator, Children’s Village, Yakima
  • Sharon Loudon, Autism Consultant, Educational Service District (ESD) 105, Yakima
  • Dana Stevens, ABD, BCBA, LBA, Director, Training and Education and Chief Clinical Advisor Northwest Autism Center, Spokane
  • John Lemus, UW LEND Program, Vice President – Spokane Chapter of People First of WA

This virtual panel presentation will provide information about the unique issues and support available for the autism community in central and eastern Washington. Topics that will be discussed include getting an evaluation and diagnosis, supports for families following a diagnosis, advocacy and communication with the public schools, available therapies including Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), autistic advocate and parent perspectives, and information related to resources.

Autism 205: Selective Eating in Children With Autism

May 20, 2021


  • Lauren Mozer, MPH, RD, CD
  • Lisa Holman, MS, RD, CD
  • Kim Nowak-Cooperman, MS, RD, CD

Seattle Children’s Pediatric Feeding Program Clinical Dietitians Kim Nowak Cooperman, Lisa Holman and Lauren Mozer will provide an overview of the eating issues commonly seen in children with autism, with a focus on food selectivity (picky eating). They will also discuss nutrition risks commonly seen in selective eaters, the ways in which nutrition can play a role in working with other members of your child’s care team and first steps parents or caregivers can take in supporting their child nutritionally.

Autism 206: Access to Care and Services in Homes, Schools and Communities

September 16, 2021
Instructor: Arzu Forough, president and CEO at Washington Autism Alliance
Read the presentation (PDF).

Maximizing education and health benefits to support individuals and their families throughout the lifespan.

Presenter: Arzu Forough, President & CEO, Washington Autism Alliance. Ms. Forough brings over 25 years of experience in training and development to her position, including leadership development, government relations and non-profit management.In 2007 she founded Washington Autism Alliance and developed the “Autism IEP supplement: Best Practice Guidelines for educating students with autism”. Her IEP supplement as well as guidelines for training teachers was legally adopted by the Washington State legislature in 2008 and became the requirement for all teachers working with learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders statewide.

Arzu introduced Shayan’s Law, Autism Insurance Parity to the Washington State legislature, petitioned the state Health technology Assessment of evidence based treatment of autism and ignited multiple legal actions that have clarified state and federal laws mandating insurance benefits for those with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Autism 207: Autism and Sleep Issues

October 21, 2021
Presenters: Karen Sporn, ARNPDora Hall, ARNP, and Katelyn Cotter, ARNP, from the Autism Center
Read the presentation. (PDF)

Children with autism can have sleep issues, which can be hard on both the child and their family. In this 200 class we will discuss the importance of sleep, sleep problems and their potential causes, and strategies to improve sleep in children with autism.

Autism 208: Autism and the African American Experience

November 18, 2021
Shayla Collins
Parent, UW LEND, Arc of King County Board Member, OBCC Mindfulness and Compassion Program Facilitator

Panel Experts;
Hodan Mohammed
Parent and Founder of Washington Multicultural Services Link

Jaukesia Lawrence-Smalls
Parent, Self-Advocate, UW LEND & The Arc of King County Board Member

Richard Mullen
Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, The Arc of King County

Panel Discussion
Join us for an engaging community conversation with African American autistic adults, parents, advocates and experts on navigating within the I/DD community and systems. Learn about the personal journeys of the parents and self-advocate on our panel and the advice they have to share on navigating through the complexities of the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) community and systems. They will also provide recommendations to providers and family members on how to best support/ amplify people and families within the IDD community.

2020 Series Schedule

Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2020

January 16, 2020
Instructors: Jennifer Gerdts, PhD and Sara Jane Webb, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Please join us for our annual review of developments related to autism that occurred in 2019 and a look at things to come in 2020. Dr. Sara Webb is a professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and will review scientific research including early risk for autism and the effort to improve clinical trials for children with ASD. Dr. Jennifer Gerdts is director of the University of Washington’s LEND program and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. Gerdts will review advances in autism genetic research as well as developments locally, statewide and nationally in screening for ASD and improving access to ASD services, including the launch of ECHO Autism Washington for Centers of Excellence statewide. New AAP guidelines will be reviewed for the identification, evaluation and management of children with ASD. Time will be reserved for questions and discussion.

Autism 202: Recognizing and Treating Trauma-Related Symptoms in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

February 20, 2020
Instructor: Molly Cevasco, PhD, Seattle Children’s Autism Center
Read the presentation (PDF).

Children and adolescents with developmental disabilities have an increased likelihood of experiencing abuse or neglect. While these crimes are infrequently reported, those who do report often struggle to find a treatment team that can adequately meet their needs. This presentation reviews current research on the prevalence of various forms of abuse and neglect among individuals with ASD and I/DD, as well as important considerations for treatment and supports. This presentation will provide information for individuals and families to understand resources and signs of trauma exposure. Medical and mental health providers will learn trauma-informed strategies for working with individuals, both in primary care and behavioral health settings.

Autism 203: Mood and Anxiety in Autism

March 19, 2020
Instructors: Stephanie Pickering, PhD; Rachel Earl, PhD; and Soo-Jeong Kim, MD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Webex meeting code and password:

  • Meeting code (access code): 808 729 558
  • Meeting password: autism

Children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder are at greater risk of anxiety and mood issues over the course of their life. This talk will explore current evidence-based treatments for anxiety and mood, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Presenters will also discuss important ways these therapies may be adapted for this population.

Autism 204: Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder

April 16, 2020
Instructor: Mendy Minjarez, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with several decades of scientific support. Over time, ABA has been implemented in different ways, including newer methods using naturalistic and developmentally based interventions, which have emerged as effective strategies for teaching skills to young children with ASD. This presentation will describe core principles of these Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions and will compare and contrast different treatment models that fall under this umbrella term, such as Pivotal Response Teaching (PRT) and the Early Start Denver Model (EDSM). Information on specific treatment strategies will also be provided, such that this presentation will be relevant for both those interested in learning about the science behind these models, as well as those who are interested in using them to work directly with children with ASD.

Autism 205: Parenting in the “New Normal”

May 21, 2020
Facilitator: Jennifer St. Cyr, MSW, parent group facilitator
Presenters: Hodan Mohammed, program manager; Celeste Rashaan, community organizer; ChrisTiana ObeySumner, intersectional justice advocate; Ben Wahl, program founder; Shayla Collins, mindfulness coach; Jay Pierce, teen self-advocate

Being an effective ally for youth with autism is never more important than right now. Parents are searching for ways to communicate effectively with their child and help support them. Providers and community stakeholders are struggling to find ways to overcome barriers to services. It is a challenging time but, as we know, families from the autism community possess incredible resilience. Join us to hear perspectives from our speakers, some autistic and some non-autistic, about how we can be the best possible allies for kids, teens and young adults at this critical time.

Autism 206: Mental Health and Autistic Adults With Intellectual Impairment

July 16, 2020
Presenters: David O'Neal, director of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Program at Sound Mental Health; Melanie Streight, intensive case manager/supervisor, DDA; Dan Peterson, mental health resource manager, DDA

This presentation will focus on mental health conditions and steps we can take as a community of parents, caregivers and self-advocates to foster self-determination and remove barriers to mental health services. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health services will also be discussed. The presenters will share their experiences, strategies and resources. This presentation is focused on autistic adults with intellectual impairment and who are enrolled in DDA.

Autism 207: Mental Health and Autistic Adults Without Intellectual Impairment

August 20, 2020
Presenters: Rosalind Oti, PhD, Child and Adolescent Psychological Services of Seattle; Ben Wahl, MSW, Aspiring Youth; Natasha Harrington, PsyD, Autistic Clinical Psychologist
Read the presentation (PDF).

This presentation will focus on mental health conditions and steps we can take as a community of self-advocates, parents, and caregivers to foster self-determination and remove barriers to mental health services. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health services will also be discussed. The presenters will share their experiences, strategies and resources. This presentation is focused on autistic adults without intellectual impairment and who are not enrolled in DDA.

Autism 208: How to Access and Implement ABA Services in Schools

September 17, 2020
Instructors: Arzu Forough, executive director of WAAA; and Elizabeth Hatzenbuhler, MS, BCBA, Seattle Children’s Autism Center
Read the presentation (PDF).

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a natural science approach to understanding how behavior interacts with environmental variables. In this scientific discipline, “behavior” means anything done (not just misbehavior), and “environment” includes all types of physical and social events that might change or be changed by an individual’s behavior. ABA is the use of the principles and methods derived from research to bring about meaningful changes in socially important behaviors.

ABA has demonstrated effectiveness across a variety of individuals, behaviors and settings. Research supports that ABA is an effective scientific methodology that can be implemented within school settings in numerous capacities. This includes a continuum of services that range from general education strategies that are applicable to all learners to intensive and individualized intervention plans that help a student build skills in order to be successful in a way that is most meaningful to them. This talk will provide background information about the current state of ABA practices in our school systems as well as an overview of what these services may look like. It will also highlight the new School Behavior Analyst credential.

Autism 209: Crisis Supports and Autistic Individuals Without Intellectual Impairment

October 15, 2020
Facilitator: Gary Stobbe, MD, Seattle Children’s Autism Center

Lindsey Miller, ARNP – psych ARNP at Seattle Children’s (outpatient and inpatient med provider)
Molly Cevasco, PhD – clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s (specialist in autism, trauma, and crisis services)
Don Koenig – Vancouver Director, Catholic Community Services (expert on WISe program and mental health services in WA State)
Taylor Robb – autistic self advocate (member of our ECHO IDD Wraparound team, studying for his BCBA)
Rachel Nemhauser – Community and Family Support Manager, The Arc of King County
Paul Davis – Youth and Family Behavioral Health, Washington State Health Care Authority

When faced with a crisis, where do autistic individuals turn for support, treatment, services and stabilization? Many autistics who have complex mental health needs are not being served well by the current systems. This session will take a closer look at mental health services – what is available; what are the challenges, gaps and barriers; and what should be done to provide prevention and intervention services to autistics experiencing a mental health crisis. Panelists will be announced in the summer of 2020. Information will address the needs of autistics who do not meet eligibility requirements for Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).

Autism 210: A Panel Discussion: Multicultural Perspectives on Autism Spectrum Disorder

November 19, 2020
Moderator: Jim Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP, Seattle Children’s Autism Center

Presenters from the following groups and individual parent ambassadors will participate:
Vietnamese Family Autism Advisory Board (VFAAB)
Thanh Kirkpatrick, MD, MPH, pediatrician, Hope Central Pediatrics; director, VFAAB
LeVinh Tran, patient navigator, Hope Central and VFAAB

Somali Health Board
Fartun Mohamed, program manager, Somali Health Board
Amal Yasin, parent ambassador

The Arc of King County
Sandra Urite, information and resource specialist for Spanish-speaking families, The Arc of King County
Adriana Benavides, parent ambassador

Most people know a person who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), regardless of culture, ethnicity or religion. ASD is viewed differently across cultures and different cultures present with various strengths and challenges within their communities. This presentation will focus on three different cultural groups that are represented in the state of Washington: Somali, Vietnamese and Latinx communities. Presenters from community groups including the Vietnamese Family Autism Advisory Board, the Somali Health Board and the Arc of King County will provide some history of their local community in the Seattle area, identify the strengths/barriers within their communities, relate the story of how local organizations formed and have grown and present barriers their communities face when interacting with different systems, in particular during the time of COVID-19.


2019 lectures

Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2019
January 17, 2019
Instructor: Jim Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism 202: Best Practices in ASD Treatment: Applied Behavior Analysis Update
February 21, 2019
Instructors: Mendy Minjarez, PhD, and Elizabeth Hatzenbuhler, MS, BCBA

Autism 203: The Visual Pathway in ASD: Explicit Teaching Methods to Promote Social Communication
March 21, 2019
Instructor: Georgina Lynch, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 204: Perspectives on Psychiatric Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
April 18, 2019
Instructor: Hower Kwon, MD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 205: Gender Diversity and Autism: Exploring Identity, Healthcare and Advocacy
May 16, 2019
Instructors: Felice Orlich, PhD, and Rachel Earl, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 206: Transition to Adulthood – “My Physical Body and Mind Started Shutting Down”: Autistic Burnout and the Costs of Coping and Passing
July 18, 2019
Instructor: Dora Raymaker, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).
Read the paper: "Having All of Your Internal Resources Exhausted Beyond Measure and Being Left with No Clean-Up Crew": Defining Autistic Burnout

Autism 207: Transition to Adulthood – Abuse and Neglect of Adults with Developmental Disorders
August 15, 2019
Instructor: Rachel Loftin, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 208: Crisis Support and Autism for Complex Behavioral and Mental Health Needs
September 19, 2019
Facilitator: Eric Boelter, PhD, BCBA-D
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 209: Autism Care Planning: Recommended Interventions, Resources and Support
October 17, 2019
Instructor: Karen Sporn, ARNP
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 210: A Panel Discussion: Perspectives from the Autism Community
November 21, 2019
Facilitator: Gary Stobbe, MD
Read the presentation (PDF).

2018 lectures

Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2018
January 18, 2018
Instructors: Raphael Bernier, PhD, and Jim Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism 202: But I Don’t Wanna Go to School!: Strategies for Addressing School Avoidance
February 15, 2018
Instructor: Kendra Read, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 203: Social Inclusion Through Person-Centered Planning
March 15, 2018
Instructors: Ramona Hattendorf, Director of Advocacy, Arc of King County, and Cathy Murahashi, Family Engagement Coordinator, King County Parent and Family Coalition
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 204: Powerful Partnerships: Strategies for Navigating the Family/School Relationship
April 19, 2018
Instructors: Carrie Basas, JD, MEd, and Rose Spidell, JD, Washington State Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds; and Mariam Araujo, PhD
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 205: Inclusion: What’s Working and What’s Next? – A Panel Discussion
May 17, 2018
Facilitator: Kimberly Corrigan
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 206: Transition to Adulthood: Housing Options – A Panel Discussion
July 19, 2018
Facilitator: Rose Yu, MA, MBA
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 207: Transition to Adulthood: Behavioral Support for Adults
August 16, 2018
Instructor: Monica Meyer
Read the presentation (PDF).

Autism 208: Hiding in Plain Sight: Girls With Autism Spectrum Disorder
September 20, 2018
Instructors: Sara Webb, PhD, and Karen Barnes, PhD

Autism 209: Let’s Talk About AAC and Autism Spectrum Disorder
October 18, 2018
Instructors: Jo Ristow, MS, CCC-SLP, and Meg Pattee, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism 210: We Are All in This Together: Finding Common Ground Between Autistic and Parent Advocates – A Panel Discussion
November 15, 2018
Facilitator: Zack Siddeek, MSW
Read the presentation (PDF).

2017 lectures

Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2017 With Jim and Raphe
Instructors: Raphael Bernier, PhD, and Jim Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism 202: Autism Genetics: What Parents Should Know
Instructors: Heather Mefford, MD, and Jennifer Gerdts, PhD

Autism 203: Making Friends on the Playground: Social Skills Support in School
Instructor: Jill Locke, PhD

Autism 204: Parent Training to Address Problem Behaviors of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Instructor: Karen Bearss, PhD

Autism 205: Autism and Police: Staying Safe Together
Facilitator: Robin Tatsuda, MSW

Autism 206: Transition to Adulthood: Finding a Job
Instructors: Richard Wilson, MPA, and Maureen Roberts, MEd, CRC

Autism 207: Transition to Adulthood: Keeping a Job
Instructors: Gina Solberg, CESP, and Abbey Lawrence, MEd, BCBA

Autism 208: Screening for ASD: A Preventative Intervention Approach (video not available)
Instructor: Lisa Ibanez, PhD

Autism 209: Early Intervention in Autism: An Overview of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center Model
Instructor: Mendy Minjarez, PhD

Autism 210: Autism From a Sibling’s Perspective: A Panel Discussion
Facilitator: Tammy Mitchel, sister; manager, Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center

You can view all Autism 200 Series lectures from the past two years on the Autism 200 Series playlist.

Additional resources

For additional resources, visit the Autism Center Resources page or The Autism Blog, authored by Seattle Children's Autism Center. The world of autism spectrum disorders is constantly changing and we at Seattle Children’s Autism Center are eager to share with parents and caregivers what we continue to learn. The Autism Blog is designed to be a resource on autism as well as to give you an opportunity to comment on our posts and engage with our experts.