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Communities of Practice in Autism (CoPA)

Feeding GiraffeMission

The Communities of Practice in Autism (CoPAs) will share knowledge and information about evidence-based strategies in natural environments, focusing on infants, toddlers, and young children diagnosed or suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families, to enhance supports and services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Key Outcomes

  • Improve knowledge of providers and others related to evidence-based intervention for young children with Autism.
  • Identify and disseminate strategies that can be used in natural settings, such as the home, the library, or the community playground. These strategies should be embedded into the daily routines and activities of the family.
  • Foster communication and collaboration among providers, with families, and other community members to improve implementation of the IFSP/FSP.
  • Improve supports and services for all children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.

Providing Support to Overcome Challenges

  • Lack of knowledge about what is evidence-based for infants, toddlers and young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Woman and Boy Playing with FoamLack of knowledge about natural, embedded strategies.
  • Providers do not always know how to explain the rationale for specific interventions, supports, and/or services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to families or others in the community.
  • Providers do not always know how to teach family members or solve problems with families for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

CoPA Resources and Materials

The information in many of these materials was compiled by a regional community of practice in autism from a variety of resources and members' own professional experiences.

Statewide CoPA Membership

Statewide CoPA Members PDF | DOC

Statewide CoPA Meeting Minutes

May 23, 2016 PDF

March 28, 2016 PDF


CoPA Meeting Minutes Archive 2015 ZIP

CoPA Meeting Minutes Archive 2014 ZIP

CoPA Meeting Minutes Archive 2013 ZIP

CoPA Meeting Minutes Archive 2012 ZIP

CoPA Meeting Minutes Archive 2011 ZIP


Apps for Intervention with Young Children

These resources were developed or identified by CoPA members. These resources can also be found on the Tools of the Trade page.

Concerns about Autism: Talking to Families PDF

Adapted by VA Community of Practice in Autism (CoPA)

This handout provides EI practitioners with guidance for how to talk to families about autism spectrum disorders under two common circumstances: when the practitioner has a concern and when the parent expresses a concern. This handout was adapted with permission from a similar resource from the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early Campaign.

"CoPA is Getting a Facelift!" - Informational Meeting

February 27, 2017


This Recording is Viewed Through Blackboard Collaborate

It will take a moment for the recording to load (a new window will open). Once BlackBoard has launched, click the play arrow in the lower lefthand corner of the window.

CoPA Leaders Meeting 5/15/09 - Update on ASD PDF | PPT

CoPA Questions for ITCVA (Part C) Related to ABA and Insurance PDF | HTML

These questions were compiled from CoPA members’ questions and were submitted to the ITCVA office in Spring 2013. The response follows the list of questions.

Using Behavior Analysts and Assistant Behavior Analysts in the Part C Early Intervention System: Questions & Answers (March 2015) PDF

This document was created by the Infant & Toddler Connection of VA office in response to questions submitted from localities.

Virginia Communities of Practice in Autism Evaluation Report PDF

Websites Related to CoPA PDF | HTML

Archived Handouts and Presentations


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Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center