Find an advocate to help you successfully navigate the ASD maze

Early intervention for a child with ASD can have a profound impact on modifying behavior and improving the child’s social, communication, and learning skills. However, finding the services to provide this much needed intervention can be a long and costly process.

Our advocacy team is here to help you untangle the details. Our advocates come from a variety of educational backgrounds and have deep roots in Washington’s autism community. They have traveled this road many times and know some of the most efficient routes to help you access the benefits and social services your child needs to thrive.

Whether you’re trying to identify insurance benefits, write letters, appeal insurance rulings, or any number of other related tasks, our advocates can guide you through the process. We can also connect you with a low-cost or pro-bono attorney at WAAA if the appeals process has been exhausted.

Our programs work to ensure that those with ASD have every opportunity to thrive and be productive. Through workshops, social and recreational activities, and support and respite care, parents, teachers and other caregivers can learn how best to help those with ASD realize their full potential.

*Please note that with the exception of attorneys Mira Posner and Jamie Aten, WAAA’s health law advocates and parent partners are not attorneys. Any information they provide is not a substitute for specific legal advice.*

Meet our advocates:

Mira Posner, J.D.  – Staff Attorney
Ms. Posner has been working with Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy since the fall of 2013 to provide free legal advice to families appealing insurance denials of coverage for treatments for autism. Ms. Posner’s legal background includes her work as a staff attorney at Teamchild, where her focus was on special education and school discipline appeals, and the Northwest Justice Project, where she worked on public benefits, housing, mental health, education, and seniors’ law.

Ms. Posner earned her Juris Doctor from the Seattle University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Idaho. She lives in Seattle with her husband, their two children, and three cats.

Jamie Aten, J.D. – Health Law Advocate 

Ms. Aten serves as a point of contact in helping families experiencing unreasonable caps and denials of medically necessary treatments for autism. She is a graduate of the Ohio State University Moritz School of Law and her legal background includes work with Legal Aid of Western Ohio and Social Security Disability law. Ms. Aten is very passionate about working with the autism community to help obtain insurance coverage for those who have been denied.

Ms. Aten has an academic background that includes a Master’s Degree in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from Calvin College. She was born and raised in the Seattle area and currently resides in Kirkland.

Trish Thrush

Trish Thrush –  Health Law Advocate
Trish serves as a point of contact in helping parents with emotional support, guidance for complex autism needs, assistance to access services, providers and connects families to WAAA family supports network of other caring mentors.  READ TRISH’S FULL BIO

WAAA profile Jessica Edwards

Jessica Edwards – Region 2 Family Support & Advocacy Coordinator
Jessica has a background in insurance billing and coding and has been on the administrative side of the healthcare industry for over fifteen years. Jessica is dedicated to those who were not insured, underinsured, or denied coverage.  She has found alternative ways of funding for care through State and Federal Programs,… READ JESSICA’S FULL BIO

Jodie Hommer – Region 4 Family Support & Advocacy Coordinator; Membership Services Coordinator
Jodie has a master’s degree in clinical psychology, with emphasis in marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling and has her mental health professional designation.  She has been working for several years in public mental health with under-served minority populations.

Amy Schley –  King County Parent Partner 
Amy serves as a point of contact in helping parents navigating all autism related systems of care.  She offers emotional support, guidance for complex autism needs, assistance to access services, providers and connects families to WAAA family supports network of other caring mentors.

Amy is a parent of two, and has personal experience with health care and education advocacy on behalf of her daughter.

Melodie Savaria

Melodie Savaria – King County Parent Partner
Melodie holds a master’s degree in educational psychology, and has worked with children with autism for 7 years.  She is passionate about helping families navigate autism resources and services as well as providing emotional support.  She lives in Redmond, WA with her husband.


9 thoughts on “Find an advocate

  1. I live in Clark county and am having trouble getting ABA funding from insurance, they are not offering it now or for the next year. The company is self insured, who should I contact for assistance in the SW WA area? Thanks!

  2. I live in California. And my 6 year old son was diagnosed about a year ago and it has been difficult to get him started with any kind of treatment, do you have any advice?

  3. Im needing help finding out if i and two of my children this we struggle and have trouble in doing many things we r not stupid very smart in other ways we have to componsate to get by but we see things different

  4. My 11 yr old Autistic son is not getting the support he needs at school. We live in Kitsap Co. Our school district is North Kitsap.
    I am a very active parent, and I’m trying to navigate this public school nightmare.
    Please contact me if you can help!

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