A Visit from Local Heroes

A visit from the Marietta Fire & Police Departments as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Department!

About Us

The Autism Center of Southeastern Ohio, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was started in 2007 to assist families in Washingtoncounty and Southeastern Ohio living with Autism. Since that time, we have grown to start our support group, Washington County Autism Support Hour (WASH) and our quarterly respite program. As we continue to grow within our community, we continue to raise Autism Awareness.

In 2015, ACSO chose to change the name of the organization to the Mid-Ohio Valley Autism Community (MOVAC), to better reflect the mission and area it serves. MOVAC is a board completely made up of volunteers. Any donation fully goes to support our programs to help families living with Autism in the Mid-Ohio Valley.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, by providing support, resources, and opportunities within the Mid-Ohio Valley community.


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for MOVAC is completely made up of volunteers from the community. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact us by phone or email.

Sam Crowther
Christopher Klein, Ph.D.
Beth Ann Eddy
Carol White
Tammy Hanger
Board Member
Erin Lockhart
WCBDD Liason
Angela Lowry
Board Member
Theresa Skinner
Board Member

Contact Information

Board Meetings: 2nd Mondays @ 3:30pm

Address: 1701 Colegate Drive Marietta, OH

MOVAC Phone: (740) 376-4795

WASH Coordinator: (740) 373-3781 x38


Parent Support group – Washington County Autism Support Hour (WASH)

The Autism Center sponsors the parent support group “Washington County Autism Support Hour” or WASH. The group meets the second Thursday of every month from 6pm-8pm at Ewing School at 1701 Colegate Drive, Marietta, Ohio. FREE Professional child care is provided for both ASD children and their siblings while the parents attend the meeting. Parents needing child care must R.S.V.P. prior to the meeting. Educational speakers are provided every other month. The other months, a social hour is held. The social hour gives parents a chance to get to know each other and share experiences and/or tips on autism. R.S.V.P. to: Erin Lockhart at: elockhart@wcbdd.org or call at (740) 373-3781 ext 38.

WASH Information Sheet (PDF)


The WASH group offers respite services quarterly. You must attend at least one WASH meeting in the three months before each respite to receive an invitation to drop your children off for the four hour respite. The respite will be held at Ewing School. The children will get to swim, play in the gym and do arts & crafts while you get to RELAX! Please see our calendar for the next respite.


Calendar of Events

About Autism

What is autism?

Autism is the fastest growing disability in the United States. About 1 in 58 children are diagnosed and affected by the condition.
Autism is a neurobiological disorder of development that can cause information to be processed by an individual in different ways. This disorder can affect an individual’s ability to understand and use language to communicate effectively with other people. It can affect an individual’s ability to interact typically with objects or events in the environment and to respond typically to sensory stimuli. These difficulties manifest themselves in individuals on the spectrum from mild to severe.

What causes autism?

Although we don’t know exactly what causes autism, we do know that it is not caused by a lack of love or inadequate parenting skills. We do know that the symptoms of autism can be triggered by anything that affects the functioning of the central nervous system. We do know that autism research is being advanced due to the worldwide attention and recent increased funding. We hope with this that a cause and a cure will be found.

What is the occurrence of autism?

Autism is not as rare as it once was. Now it is estimated that 1 in about 58 children will be diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder. It is on the rise in all parts of the world and across all races, social backgrounds, and cultures. Autism is four times more common in males.

How is autism diagnosed?

Currently, there is no medical or psychological test that solely determines a diagnosis of autism. Diagnosis is based on a group of observed behavioral characteristics. No single behavior indicates autism nor will each individual demonstrate the same group of behaviors. A psychologist may use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition or DSM-IV to confirm a diagnosis of autism. An evaluation can be done in child-related centers connected with hospitals, universities, or private physician offices. Parent interviews and observations of the individual demonstrating the questioning behaviors should be a definite part of any valid evaluation.

What are the characteristics of autism?

There are too many behavior characteristics to list here, but, here are a few:

Rarely initiates communication
Does not imitate gestures or sounds
Echoes words and phrases
Draws pictures in detail but might not be able to write letters
Eye contact is non-existent or limited
Would rather be alone
Will use another’s hand as a helping tool
Flaps hands and/or flicks fingers in front of eyes
Changes in daily routines is upsetting
Will exhibit a strong interest in a certain subject
Oversensitive to sound
Avoids certain foods’ textures or smells
May demonstrate self-injurious behaviors like biting or hitting
Toileting issues
Please remember that an individual under evaluation for autism will probably not demonstrate all of these behaviors and probably not just one. Also, if a parent has any concern about a child at any age, they should seek help. The earlier the diagnosis the better.