Northwest Autism Center is a federally approved nonprofit 501c(3) organization established in 2003 through the grassroots efforts of the Spokane community under the guidance of Dawn Sidell, RN, Executive Director. Services through our Community Connections Office include information and resource referral, personal contact with families and providers and vendor participation at conferences and workshops. Direct services offered through NAC include screenings for Autism Spectrum Disorder, intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis services provided on-site, in-home, within the community and via telehealth. Direct services include opportunities for university student practicum and internship positions and supervision hours for Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA) candidates. Community trainings, educational workshops, and consultations are regularly provided covering a wide variety of topics across a broad spectrum of disciplines (education, healthcare, law enforcement, dentistry, family impact, civic progress, etc.). Northwest Autism Center is deeply committed to advocacy efforts improving policy development; participating in local, state, and federal committees relevant to the cause of improving services and resources.
A Letter from the executive director
It is still amazing to me how a need and an idea can grow into a service and an organization! Since 2003, Northwest Autism Center has blossomed from a virtual site with a phone to an integrated community provider of education, service and information for Spokane and the surrounding region.
That we’ve gotten from there to here is largely because of you. No amount of words can adequately thank our community partners, volunteers, staff, board members, donors, legislators, and countless others who have given so generously of their time and expertise to bring this organization to life.
Northwest Autism Center is rooted in the Inland Northwest, believing that communities are where effective service development begins.
But our growth has also taken new trajectories, aligned with community partners, and fed by the understanding that in order to bring change in our region, we need to change the way our state and indeed our nation views the needs and the rights of all.
Autism continues to be the “orphan” diagnosis.
What is it? Where does it belong? Whose responsibility is it? At one level, the answers are simple: a little of everything, everywhere, and everyone! Our mission, then, is to model a responsiveness that is both effective and replicable. To build societal understanding and stakeholder investment requires service models with tangible impact on community members. Only then can we transition from a largely state supported approach to one incorporated within existing and evolving systems of coverage and care. Unfortunately, when it comes to the disorder of autism, it doesn’t matter how much money you have; you can’t find help or get on a waiting list for help, if the help does not exist.
We truly appreciate your encouragement and investment in Northwest Autism Center as we build a regional center of integrated services for those affected by autism. Our expression of thanks will come in the form of improved independence, functioning, community integration, and quality of life for those living with autism and their families.
With your continued help, we will continue to reach every child and every adult where they live.
Dawn Sidell, RN
why choose us
Improving community support and connection through partnerships, education and awareness
Providing learning opportunities across disciplines for university students, faculty, and practicing professionals to improve collaboration and quality of care.
Contributing key values, ideas and information to local, state, and national debates on caring for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Providing and building evidence based direct treatment services for individuals and
We are committed to reach every child and adult in a continuum of settings through a strong community outreach program and on-site service provision. We provide an on-going commitment to research and data collection to promote evidence-based best practice methods for the treatment and intervention services we provide. In addition, we conduct education and training for health care providers, parents, and school district staff in all applicable areas. Northwest Autism Center also works with local universities and colleges to provide student internships and practicum experiences, and with area businesses to promote appropriate supported employment opportunities. Like the individuals and families we serve, we collaborate with our neighbors, becoming an essential component in building a healthy community.
Executive Director & Founder
Community Connections Manager
LBA School Program Supervisor
Board of Directors
Executive Director & Founder
Lara Hemingway, LLM, JD
Board Vice President
Scott Opperud, CPA
Jaclyn Clabby, LLM, JD