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Calls to Action

Saturday's LA Early Access to Care Screening: The Community Built It!

Clinicians, Resource Agencies and Volunteers will come together this Saturday, September 7th to respond to concerns and questions from Los Angeles families.

This is a blog by Marianne Sullivan, Managing Director, Regional Programs and Services in the West at Autism Speaks. Marianne is the mother of a 21-year-old adult with autism.

Excitement is building as we are days away from the Early Access to Care Outreach Event scheduled for Saturday, September 7th at the Magnolia Place Family Center in South Los Angeles!

The Autism Speaks Southern California Chapter, along with the Family Services and Science teams, is sponsoring a one-of-a kind outreach event joined by local partners--clinicians, resource agencies, volunteers, and most importantly, families who have questions about their child’s developmental milestones.

We know families are often hesitant to discuss their concerns about their child, sometimes out of embarrassment or fear. It was important to us to create an event with a family-friendly environment where families feel comfortable and at ease. Snacks, lunches and a variety of children’s activities will be available throughout the day.

There was an overwhelming positive response from the community as we planned for this event.

  • 100 volunteers will be on board from Learning Rights Law Center and Special Needs Network who are specially trained as parent advocates.
  • 12 Community Resource Agencies will be onsite – 211 LA, Regional Centers, Early Start Preschool, Mental Health Services, Insurance Eligibility workers, to name a few.
  • 40 Clinicians from UCLA and Children Hospital of Los Angeles – AS ATN will volunteer their time on Saturday to talk with Parents about screening results and make recommendations for next steps.

The event is set up into three stations for families to move through with no delays or long waiting lines.

  • At Station 1, families will check in and meet their family buddy who is responsible for making the family feel welcome from check-in to check-out. A family fun area is available for extended family to relax while parents and children meet with clinicians.
  • At Station 2, a clinical team will meet with parents and their child, review the developmental history form and screening results and answer parent’s questions.
  • At Station 3, there will be a Community Resource Fair. Parents will have the opportunity to talk to agencies about how to connect. At check-out, families will receive a tote bag filled with resource materials and feedback from their health care provider about next steps.

Autism Speaks is pleased with how the entire community is joining efforts to support families in their communities.

Click here to view the event flyer! (In Spanish here).

Families can register by calling 888-288-4762, en Español at 888-772-9050. To volunteer for Saturday’s event in Los Angeles email Pam Eisenberg at

The Chicagoland Chapter will also be doing an Early Access to Care Outreach Event on Sept 7th. For more information contact Mary Rios at

For more information about Autism Speaks Early Access to Care Initiative visit:

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.