1 in 45. The diagnostic rate for Autism is a well publicized statistic. The number of children diagnosed with Autism has risen at a startling rate over the past 2 decades. Advocacy efforts by Autism Speaks and other organizations have substantially increased the awareness of Autism and produced changes in public policy and regulation that has lead to new resources for individuals and families.
The dramatic increase in demand for services to support individuals and families has created significant growth for many established, and new providers, of services to the Autism community. Accelerated change in any environment can create risk for quality, oversight, and adherence to high standards. Without objective benchmarks to judge the quality of services, organizations can at worst, knowingly or unknowingly operate in ways that may create risk to clients, or simply underperform clinically and create negative impressions of providers in general.
Behavior Analysts, Speech Pathologists, teachers, psychologists and social workers are trained, certified, and sometimes licensed professionals. Each of these professions has educational and ethical standards set out by their various associations (e.g., BACB, ASHA, etc.). However, there is not a well-established, provider association specifically aimed at guiding the development and oversight of quality practice in the Organizations that provide the services to individuals and families at scale.
CASP was formed to fill this void. The CASP founding members have been meeting annually in a conference setting for 8 years working collaboratively to improve the way we deliver the highest quality services to individuals with Autism. We are formally launching the Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) to explicitly commit to our mission of supporting our members by cultivating, sharing, and advocating for provider best practices in Autism services.
Our teams support more than 70,000 individuals every day. We are stewards of companies (for profit and not for profit) with income of more than two and a half billion dollars annually. We pride ourselves on providing the best services we can, knowing we always have the opportunity to improve. If you are an organization that shares this mission, we hope you will apply to join CASP!