Kayla Wagner is Breaking Geographic Barriers for Children Who Need an Autism Evaluation
When Kayla Wagner, a researcher and clinician, thought of the idea for a virtual care company, it didn’t yet have a name but it had a face: her childhood friend, Kyle, who has autism and is the inspiration behind her career in working with children just like him. During the pandemic, Kayla saw there was a huge need to reduce the average wait time for an autism evaluation in the United States because children are waiting years from first suspicion to a final diagnosis of autism. At 29 years old, she built “As You Are,” a virtual clinic dramatically increasing access to early autism diagnostic services through the use of exclusively telehealth appointments.
“Over 80% of all counties in the U.S. lack diagnostic resources,” said Kayla. “As You Are transcends geographic barriers to provide timely and high-quality care for patients in the comfort of their own home. We provide inclusive care to anyone, anywhere.”
In August, the virtual clinic launched in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. She plans to eventually expand the services nationwide. An exclusively virtual system gets families an appointment with a pediatrician fast, reducing the time-to-an answer from years to weeks. Kayla believes an early diagnosis is critical because it provides children with years of additional intervention and equips parents with the knowledge they need to help their children flourish.
“Every child has an incredibly unique perspective, special talents, and creative insights. Some kiddos need a little extra support in the early years to allow them to fully flourish and express their true selves. By helping our next generations, we make our world a better place,” she said.
Kayla has dedicated her career to creating healthcare solutions that increase early identification of childhood conditions and access to high quality care for all children, regardless of available resources or socioeconomic status. For more information, visit AsYouAre.com/Scene.