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Request for Applications: Georgia Autism Assessment Collaborative (GAAC) Cohort 3

Thursday, May 19, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Dietrich
Conducted by the Emory Autism Center ; In partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health; In collaboration with the Georgia Psychological Association

What is the Georgia Autism Assessment Collaborative (GAAC) – Cohort 3?

This project aims to build capacity of licensed psychologists in Georgia who provide quality diagnostic assessments with a focus on young children suspected of having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Who is eligible

Eligible participants are licensed psychologists in the State of Georgia who:

  • have professional training and licensure in Georgia enabling you to conduct diagnostic assessments of young children and confer a DSM-5 diagnosis when applicable
  • conduct diagnostic assessments and intervention planning with children birth through 5 years of age with potential developmental disabilities
  • currently have a Medicaid number or are willing to apply for one
  • sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Georgia Department of Public Health to serve as a provider for GA DPH’s Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) Program ( for diagnostic and intervention planning assessments for young children suspected of having an ASD
  • practice in one of the following GA DPH Health Districts
    • 2: North (Gainesville)
    • 3-3: Clayton (Jonesboro)
    • 4: District 4 (LaGrange)
    • 5-1: South Central (Dublin)
    • 5-2: North Central (Macon)
  • agree to participate in a group 2-day autism assessment training to be held at the Emory Autism Center at Emory University in Atlanta on July 14-15, 2016
  • have access to an updated ADOS-2 kit or are you willing to purchase one in order to participate in this training (
    • You will NOT need to bring ADOS-2 kit to training at Emory
  • participate in a small group 2-day training to be held in your health district in September (dates TBD with participants)
  • are willing to participate in quarterly webinars with other GAAC professionals for additional assessment training and collaboration (max 2 hours per webinar)


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 64 children were identified with ASD in metro Atlanta.  Although the signs of ASD are often present by age 3 years, only 45% of these children had a developmental evaluation by age three. On average, children were diagnosed with ASD at 4 years, 1 month.

Georgia can do better! We know that early intervention can make a difference in helping a child learn important skills and change developmental outcomes.

Efforts are underway to improve early identification and linkage to early intervention and it is essential for Georgia to increase the capacity of well-qualified secondary and tertiary professionals who can help families with the assessment and diagnosis of their young child suspected of having ASD.

This project will build a network of psychologists who can consult and collaborate with one another to remain up-to-date on the latest assessment needs for young children suspected of having ASD. In addition, the project will increase capacity for families seeking help from licensed professionals for diagnostic assessment and will help link families to the GA DPH Babies Can’t Wait early intervention program in their area.

Benefit to you

  • As the 3rd cohort of the GAAC, you have the opportunity to contribute to a unique professional collaborative and share information and expertise with psychologist colleagues from around the state.
  • The Emory Autism Center (EAC) includes faculty with internationally-recognized expertise in the identification and assessment of ASD.
  • You will receive at least 40 hours of direct training that would typically cost several thousand dollars at no training cost.
  • You may be eligible for up to 15 hours of CE credits through GPA (application currently pending).
  • Most importantly, you will be a vital part of building capacity to help parents of young children sort out early developmental concerns and inform vital early intervention needs.


What is involved?

GAAC learning objectives include:

  1. Increasing professional competence in the assessment and diagnosis of ASD among young children.
  2. Increasing professional competence in knowledge about evidence-based treatments for ASD among young children.
  3. Increasing professional-family collaboration in the diagnostic and treatment processes for young children with ASD.

A total of 25 licensed psychologists with a specialization in diagnosis of developmental challenges among young children (5 from each of 5 targeted Health Districts) will be chosen for the GAAC Cohort 3 to:

  1. Participate in a Specialized 2-day group training in ASD Assessment using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS-2) conducted by a certified ADOS-2 trainer.
  2. Participate in a 2-day hands-on training in their health district.
    This will provide a small-group practice and personalized feedback on the assessment of young children with ASD with your colleagues practicing in the same health district.
  3. Engage in the GAAC Learning Collaborative Sessions with the GAAC Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 via webinar to address key ASD assessment topics. These will consist of 2 hour sessions with pre-assigned activities each participant will complete prior to the meeting.
    1. Topics to be addressed include use of additional ASD assessment instruments (e.g., the Childhood Autism Rating Scales-2), other assessment instruments (e.g., social-emotional development), and rating of the diagnostic criteria of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5).
  4. Attend (optional) meeting of the Council on Child, Family, and Assessment at the Annual GPA Meeting, April 2017.



  • Friday, June 17, 2016: Applications due by 5pm
  • July 14-15, 2016: GAAC in-person ADOS-2 group training in Emory University (Atlanta) REQUIRED
  • July-September: 2-day in-district trainings
  • Ongoing:  Monthly webinar Learning Collaborative Meetings

How to apply?

Complete application online by 5pm, Friday, June 17, 2016

Ctrl+Click on link or cut and paste into your browser:

For more information                                       

Michael J. Morrier, PhD, BCBA-D,
Assistant Professor
Emory Autism Center
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Emory University School of Medicine
1551 Shoup Court, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
404-727-8350 phone
404-727-3969 fax