CoBALT's mission is to get the right child to the right services at the right time and place. CoBALT teams allow families quicker access to specialized developmental evaluations, which results in appropriate diagnosis and quicker referral for therapy services.

History of CoBALT

CoBalt is a joint venture between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Pediatrics (UAMS DOP) and the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities Children with Special Health Care Needs (Title V CSHCN).  
The James L. Dennis Developmental Center (DDC) is the primary center in the state to conduct developmental diagnostic evaluations on child in the state of Arkansas.  This means that many families have to wait a long time to be seen at the DDC.  This waiting period can cause a child to lose valuable time in getting access to treatment.

To help with this problem, CoBALT was created.

Who are the CoBALT Teams?

CoBALT teams are comprised of a medical professional (Physician or Advanced Nurse Practitioner) and a professional who has knowledge  of child development who can complete diagnostic testing (Speech Pathologist, Psychologist, or Behavioral Specialist). Teams are located around the state and are seasoned professionals who have worked many years with children.

Training of CoBALT teams: 

These teams participate in a 2-3 day training with the facility and staff of the DDC who specialize in developmental disorders, especially Autism Spectrum Disorders.
CoBALT teams are educated about autism and developmental delays. They are given tools to screen and identify young children with a possible Autism Spectrum Disorder. Representatives from Early Intervention, Early Childhood and Title V service in the CoBALT team's area of Arkansas are also invited so relationships between CoBALT teams and DHS resources are strengthened.

Can CoBALT teams diagnose Autism?

CoBALT teams are able to diagnose autism but a primary goal of the CoBALT teams is to diagnose developmental disorders that are NOT autism and to help families find appropriate services in their local community. Many CoBALT teams refer suspected Autism Spectrum Diagnoses to the Dennis Developmental Center for a full autism team evaluation.