Position: Senior Program Specialist
Affiliation: Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Shannon Haworth is a Senior Program Specialist working under the supervision of the Director, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Technical Assistance at AUCD. She assists with managing technical assistance activities of AUCD's cooperative agreement with the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The cooperative agreement is funded under the Autism Cares Act and provides funding for the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC), supporting the national networks of MCHB-funded Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) training programs. She also manages and supports Special Interest Groups (SIG's) for AUCD such as the Autism SIG, Behavioral Health SIG, LEND Family Faculty, and the LEND Genetics Workgroup.
Shannon has a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and a graduate certificate in Autism from Ball State University. She has also earned a Post Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Disability Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently a doctoral candidate (DrPH) studying Public Health at Walden University. She also is a certified Early Intervention Specialist for the state of Virginia.
She most recently worked for the Partnership for People with Disabilities as the Project Manager for ASD Early STEP, the Virginia state autism implementation grant awarded by MCHB. She is a former Virginia LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) trainee, former Interdisciplinary Clinic Coordinator, and faculty member for the LEND program and at Virginia Commonwealth University.
She is a dedicated parent of a young child with autism and other co-morbid mental health disorders, and is an advocate for children with disabilities and their families. She has a passion for helping children with autism and other disabilities to achieve their highest potential. She is a founding member of COMPASS, a group that actively supports the Global Autism Project's international efforts to provide training and support for centers in India, Kenya, Dominican Republic, and Indonesia. She has also volunteered as a Family Navigator for the Family to Family Network of Virginia, and has also volunteered her time for various disability and mental health organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), Voices for Virginia's Children, and the Children's Mental Health Resource Center. She is also a former Board member for the Autism Society of Central VA.
Shannon is a published author on autism and parents' experiences with receiving an autism diagnosis for their children, as well as autism, mental health and dual diagnosis for minority children. She also presents on autism, children's mental health, health disparities, cultural competency, and family challenges nationally.
Shannon enjoys travel, watching science fiction movies, and spending time with her young child with autism. She also has a deep interest in behavioral interventions and supports as well as parent advocacy and leadership.