The On-Time Autism Intervention (OTAI) Project is a research-community partnership focused on engaging community partners, supporting community providers through collaboration and training, and is currently conducting pilot work in the community. We believe that all children should have access to diagnostic services, parent support and navigation, and intervention services as soon as autism symptoms emerge or as soon as a caregiver has concerns. Our work is focused on the first three years. Entry into services under 3 years of age is often referred to as “early” (as in early diagnosis or early intervention); we believe that access to services should instead be considered “on-time.” The primary focus of our work is to increase access to on-time autism intervention for all children affected by autism, with an emphasis on addressing health equity disparities by developing a framework for reaching traditionally underserved populations. Our work is guided by four pillars: (1) collaboration, (2) on-time autism diagnosis, (3) on-time and ongoing parent navigation and support, and (4) on-time child-focused autism intervention.  Contact ontime@uw.edu for more information.

What is On-Time Autism Intervention (OTAI)?

The University of Washington’s On-Time Autism Intervention (OTAI) is a collaborative project led by the UW’s Autism Center and Haring Center for Inclusive Education. Funded through a Seattle Foundation grant, the work of OTAI endeavors to increase equitable access to timely diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and evidence-based intervention for young children and their families across King County.

Problem Statement: A practice gap exists in King County that permits inequitable access to timely diagnosis and evidence-based intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Solution? Innovate practice: Pilot and evaluate novel collaborative approaches within King County to change screening, diagnosis, and post-diagnosis navigation & support strategies based on gold-standard evidence.

What Are Some Goals of OTAI?

Develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate a practice framework to guide the work of community-based practitioners to provide access to diagnostic and intervention services soon after concerns about a child arise

Active Recruitment for OTAI Projects

The On-Time Autism Intervention Team (OTAI) at UW is launching registration for TWO Early Autism ECHOs to begin in November. Recruitment has begun for our 3rd Early Autism Collaboration ECHO and our 2nd Early Autism Navigation ECHO. Flyers are attached to this email with descriptions of each ECHO, eligibility for participants, and dates and times. The email below will also give you a bit more information about participation. 

Project ECHO stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes. It was originally created as a platform for case-based learning in medicine and has now been used around the world in a variety of disciplines, including education. Registration for each ECHO is for participation in a six-month closed cohort series. Each meeting in the series will consist of a short didactic topic presented by our ECHO Hub team and then a case presentation. If you choose to participate you will have the opportunity to present a case to your ECHO cohort and will also be expected to participate in collaborative case consultation using the ECHO format. 

Early Autism Collaboration ECHO (click for brochure): 

The purpose of this ECHO is to bring together providers who are working with very young children with autism (0-3) as either BCBAs or through Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) to learn from each other about serving this population. BCBA CEUs and clock hours for educators will be provided based on attendance. 

Target audience: ESIT providers AND BCBAs working with children 0-3 with or pursuing an autism diagnosis

Contact for questions: Dr. Ashley Penney aberger2@uw.edu 

Early Autism Navigation ECHO (click for brochure):

The purpose of this ECHO is to provide navigation and parent support resources to Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) providers in working with families to navigate autism diagnosis from first screening, through diagnosis and therapy services. 

Target audience: ESIT providers supporting families of children with or pursuing an autism diagnosis, or for whom autism is suspected

Contact for questions: Dr. Katherine Bateman kjb27@uw.edu 

TO REGISTER FOR EITHER ECHO: Email ontime@uw.edu or reply to this email! Please specify the ECHO you are interested in attending. 

Check out the OTAI Podcast

Other Early Recognition Resources

The UW Autism Center is happy to provide resources that increase understanding of neurodiversity. We value inclusion of a range of voices. We do not necessarily endorse all of the content on all of these websites, but we have found these resources to be useful.

9-minute video tutorial on behavioral signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in toddlers. 
It includes video clips of specific behaviors indicative of either ASD or typical child development.  If you have concerns about your infant/toddler after viewing this tutorial, we encourage you to contact your child’s Primary Care Provider to discuss a referral for our infant-toddler clinic.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
View or download a variety of materials from the “Learn the signs. Act early.” campaign.

First Signs
Resources for early detection of ASD.

Help Me Grow Washington connects families to the health and development resources needed to give ALL kids the best start.

Special Education referrals In order to meet its “child find” obligations, your district will have procedures in place to locate, identify, and evaluate students between the ages of 3 and 21 who are suspected of having a disability and may be eligible for special education and related services.

Child Find Schools Have a Legal Duty to Evaluate Children Impacted by Disability


This website will continue to be updated. Please stay tuned! Contact ontime@uw.edu for more information.