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Really exciting news! Connecticut is currently in the process of implementing coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder services through Medicaid! Now those of our families who utilize Medicaid and HUSKY for health care coverage will be able to access ASD therapies including ABA through their insurance. Value Options, the entity that manages behavioral health services for Medicaid plans here in CT will be managing this coverage as well. Included in the coverage is access to Case Managers and Family and Peer Specialists to help families navigate through the maze of systems.
Today on the Blog - Medicaid Coverage for ABA Services
Really exciting news! Connecticut is currently in the process of implementing coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder services through Medicaid! Now those of our families who utilize Medicaid and HUSKY for health care coverage will be able to access ASD therapies including ABA through their insurance. Value Options, the entity that manages behavioral health services for Medicaid plans here in CT will be managing this coverage as well. Included in the coverage is access to Case Managers and Family and Peer Specialists to help families navigate through the maze of systems. The program officially is set to start roll out January 1. Talk with your provider about contacting DDS to get further information on how to qualify as a provider. Contact us here at ASRC or Value Options directly with questions.
Today on the blog: New Ruling on Extended School Year Services:
It's that time of year when parents start to really begin to worry about summer and what their kids will do. If you haven't started planning your child's ESY (Extended School Year) services yet, call that PPT meeting NOW. A few very important resources to review prior to your discussion about these important services for our kids with ASD. First, review the Topic Brief from the Bureau of Special Education regarding the issue to be addressed when determining eligibility for these services. It's not just regression! Second, read this post regarding a recent ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (that's the one that covers Connecticut) regarding the fact that LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) considerations MUST be applied to planning for ESY (Extended School Year) services. Many district summer programs are for special needs students only and don't always provide peer interactions. This case gives parents and advocates some legal support in negotiating for different kinds of summer programming that may include time with non-disabled peers. Read about it for yourself.
Today on the blog - The Awareness Challenge
Welcome to Autism Awareness Month. We will all be busy raising awareness about ASD's through various activities. But whether we choose to participate in a "light it up blue" campaign, gather at the capitol to address legislators and policy makers, read books abut autism to our kid's classrooms, raise money through local community events, provide workshops or other awareness activities, I would challenge us to remember that AWARENESS isn't the ultimate goal. AWARENESS is just the start on a journey towards full acceptance and opportunity for people with ASD into our wider community. Without awareness, of course, we can do nothing, but I'm not satisfied with just raising awareness. I challenge everyone of us, parents, educators, providers, community professionals and just those who care about opportunity for all, to go to the next step and move from awareness through to acceptance and empowerment. When you are patronizing a business that has a blue light, or is raising money for an . . .
Today on the Blog - Getting Real at the Conference
"It was like breathing rairifed air - just above and beyond! Incredible!" - a quote from one of the attendees at this weekends' 24th Annual Northeast Regional Conference on Autism. If you were there, you KNOW what this attendee is talking about. The conference was an amazing two day event filled with workshops, keynotes, networking and fun. To top it off, Saturday ended with the most amazing panel presentation I have ever seen. Temple Grandin, Jesse Saperstein and Yana Razumnaya, three self-advocates answered questions from the audience and truly told it like it is. Together with three great CT professionals, including Jim Loomis, Lois Rosenwald and Barbara Cook, the adults with autism ruled the day with humor, insight, wisdom and general awesomeness. From Jesse and Temple discussing when and how to tell your child about their diagnosis, to Yana reminding us that the NT community can do the most good by working to help those with autism become the truly independent people they are meant to be, this panel ended the two day event with a bang! An audience comprised of parents, family members, teachers, community professionals and providers laughed a little, cried a little and learned a lot! You won't want to miss out on next year's program which features Michelle Garcia Winner and will be held on March 20 and 21, 2015. Register early, it's sure to be a sell out again.
Today on the Blog - Do you know what you don't know?
If you are like most parents of a kid with ASD, you always wonder "what don't I know that I should know"? ASRC to the rescue! We've got THREE parent training programs scheduled for the fall, hopefully one of them fits your needs, time and budget.
Today on the Blog - Fun with Sensory Integration!
Crush, mash, squish, squash, heave, pull, push - words that should be in our kids lives every day. So many of our kids with ASD have sensory issues. Whether they are sensory seeking or sensory defensive (or both at the same time!) our kids bodies just aren't working at their most efficient. On Tuesday, a group of parents learned the ins and outs of Sensory Integration Therapy with Tara Glennon, owner of Center for Pediatric Therapy in Wallingford and Fairfield. Whether your kid refuses to wear certain clothing, only eats certain types of foods, wants to be touched all the time or can't stand touching, needs a hat on his head at all times or screams when you try to brush his or her hair, seems to be in constant motion or have no bones and be unable to sit without melting like a piece of pasta, you should be thinking about sensory integration therapy. It's fun and it works. The more you know about your kids needs, the more you can advocate with your team to provide a "sensory diet" all day long (at school, in the community and at home) to help your child regulate. If you missed this workshop, we'll be doing it again in the fall. Click through to see pictures of our parents having fun with the ball pit, foam pillows, swing and zip line!
Today on the Blog - Autism Puzzlethon at the XL Center - with Hockey to boot!
Well, it may have been a rainy (and not so) cold night but the XL Center was hopping as we held an Autism Puzzlethon™ prior to the Autism Awareness Night Hockey Game. Autism Puzzlethon™ is a FUNdraising event that works like a walk or a swim a thon, except that we do puzzles instead!
Today on the Blog - Summer will be here before you know it!
Yes, I know, there's more snow predicted for Thursday. But you know what? This week marks the arrival of pitchers and catchers at spring training around the country and that means that at some point, SUMMER WILL BE HERE. And it will arrive before you know it. If you think you are pulling your hair out with your ASD kids over snow days, imagine those long, hot, endless days of summer vacation. It's not too soon to be planning, talking and thinking about summer programming.
On the blog today - The value of a Thank You
As part of my advocacy training for parents, we talk a lot about "team building" and the value of a "thank you". It isn't often that we are thanked (or given gold stars!) for a job well done, once we've left the confines of school and are out in the big adult world. Because of that, a "thank you" has a lot of value. I was reminded of this at the airport this week as we were frantically trying to get my son back to school in Michigan (aka "the frozen tundra") in time for the start of second semester.