Visual Policy Research Initiative

Autism prevalence rates in the United States have more than doubled since 2000 (from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68 children being identified). Despite this trend as the nation’s fastest growing developmental disability, many insurance providers, including Medicaid, do not cover autism services or early intervention services for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our research project draws on policy research and human-centered design research to build communication tools and strategies (“digital boundary objects”) that aid the public and legislators in understanding the negative economic impact of late intervention and present the existing evidence that justifies the passage and implementation of early intervention services in ASD. The first set of these communication tools is aimed at policymakers to improve the continuum of care and interagency system of supports for children with autism. We foresee variations of the developed communication strategies to be used by the public for raising awareness and enabling collective action.

Funded in part by: Marcus Autism Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta