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The AAP Council on Children with Disabilities (COCWD) is composed of nearly 500 AAP Fellows (neurodevelopmental pediatricians, developmental and behavioral pediatricians, geneticists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical medical and rehabilitation pediatricians, and general pediatricians) who care for or have an interest in children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). The COCWD is also the home of the Autism Subcommittee and is responsible for all autism initiatives at the Academy.

COCWD’s Mission: To develop clinical guidance for the optimal care of children and youth with disabilities and support implementation; educate pediatricians who care for children and youth with disabilities; provide expertise and advocacy on local and national issues related to children and youth with disabilities; create collaborations with partner organizations; and provide opportunities for COCWD members to actively engage in all the above.

COCWD’s Vision: Optimal health, function, and development of children and youth with disabilities—in partnership with their families, providers, and communities—in all settings.
The COCWD Executive Committee is dedicated to providing members with a forum for education, communication, networking and advocacy. The COCWD maintains formal liaison relationships with the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Family Voices. Through these partnerships, the COCWD has been able to expand its mission to help pediatricians implement policy into their practices. The COCWD collaborates with the National Center for Medical Home Implementation—a cooperative agreement between the MCHB and the AAP—to ensure access to a medical home providing health care services that are accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally-competent.
The COCWD offers a "members-only" e-mail list, a Web site with resources that complement COCWD policies, and educational offerings presented each year at the AAP's National Conference and Exhibition (NCE). Members have many unique opportunities to participate in activities including: providing expert review on AAP publications, providing feedback on policy, submitting ideas for educational topics, and serving as faculty on COCWD-sponsored education sessions.

The COCWD holds its Council program, business meeting, and hosts educational programs annually at the NCE. In addition, the COCWD recognizes a member for notable contributions to the field of children with disabilities and presents the Arnold J. Capute Award.

For more information about the COCWD, contact Alexandra Kuznetsov.

If you already a member of the Academy, you can join the COCWD now. If you’d like information about how to become an AAP members, click here.