About Mountaineer Autism Project

MAP is a 501 (c)(3) organization made up of a unified group of parents and professionals whose goal is to have one voice in the state dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information, empowering parents, supporting best practices, and making lasting changes in the state to enable West Virginia’s children with autism to achieve their highest potential. We provide advocacy, family support, and information resources.

Mountaineer Autism Project Mission Statement

MAP supports a seamless, comprehensive plan for screening, early identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and access to scientifically proven best outcome treatment (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention) for the children of West Virginia, to enable them to reach their full, unique potential.

History of the Mountaineer Autism Project (MAP)

Mountaineer Autism Project came about as a result of the national Act Early Autism Summit, sponsored by the AUCD and CDC, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 25-26, 2010. The group of West Virginia parents and professionals who attended the Summit represented a diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds and places across our state who unified for this common cause and passion.

Front row: Susannah Poe, Jill Scarbro-McLaury, Cathy Jo Higgins, Jeanie Elkins, Cindy LeGrand, Barbara Becker-Cotrell Back row: Kathy Shapell, Allison Teteault, Lisa Hiser Daugherty, Ginny Gattlieb, Pam Roush Not pictured: Carol Brawley, Theresa Frazier M.D.

The group learned through research into our state’s resources and interaction with other states in our region, just how scarce our state’s autism services for children and families really are. Pockets of excellence were found throughout the state, but it became clear that it was critical to expand these services to better serve families in our state. A subset of the original Philadelphia group re-committed to taking action to change the landscape of autism resources in WV and formed Mountaineer Autism Project.

At the founding of MAP, it was estimated that only 1.6% of the state’s children with autism were receiving intensive, evidence-based services, which is why MAP is dedicated to ensuring the early detection, diagnosis, and Early Intensive Behavior Intervention of every child with autism in West Virginia. Our plan includes providing information and resources to educate parents, training physicians to be able to detect and diagnose autism earlier, and increasing the number of professionals who are qualified to deliver evidence-based services.

Board Members

MAP is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of parents and professionals within the autism community and with strong connections to the autism community. These members include:

    • Kathy Shapell — President
    • Dr. Susannah Poe — Vice-President
    • Jill McLaury — Secretary
    • Cindy LeGrand — Treasurer
    • Dr. Jodi Lindsey, MD
    • Alex Macia
    • Barbara Fleischauer
    • James Stevens

State Director:  Deidra Darst

Friends of MAP

MAP is open to all parents and family members of children with autism and to professionals committed to supporting Early Intensive Behavior Intervention.

If you are interested in attending a MAP meeting or becoming a Friend of MAP, please Contact Us.