Course titleAutism Family/Professional Partnerships
Learning objectiveParticipants will be able to:

-Identify three predictors of families who may need more support.

-Describe three advantages of partnering with families in the care of children with special health care needs.

-Identify two strategies for developing and sustaining partnerships with families.
DescriptionFamily-centered care is an innovative approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients and families. This training provides information about how medical providers can partner with families to provide health care for their patients.


Karen Allan, M.Ed.,
Training Coordinator, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
University of Missouri-Columbia
Karen Allan is the training coordinator for the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She has experience as a special educator and administrator in education. Her area of expertise is working to improve the transition of individuals with disabilities into adult services and experiences from the high school setting. Karen has also had experience in staff professional development, the development of training for individuals with disabilities to learn skills for self-advocacy and self-determination, student dropout prevention and assisting families to bridge the gap between school and adult services. Karen is also the parent of an adult son with special needs.

Kristin Sohl, M.D.
Medical Director, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Department of Child Health, MU School of Medicine
University of Missouri-Columbia

As the Autism Medical Clinics Director for the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Dr. Sohl organizes the multidisciplinary medical team that serves children and families with a diagnosis of autism. Dr. Sohl specializes in the diagnosis and medical care of children with autism and, as such, supports the Thompson Center as an Autism Treatment Network site. She participated with the Parent/ Professional Taskforce in developing The Thompson Center Guide to Services, and diagnosis-specific information for Autism, High Functioning Autism and ADHD. She is highly dedicated to improving health literacy.
Topics covered-Defining family-professional partnerships as part of family-centered care.

-The advantages and challenges of forming a partnership.

-Practicing family-professional partnerships