The Herald-Bulletin (St. Anderson, IN) reports:
Indiana families of children with autism are facing years-long wait for access to state services, a wide geographic disparity in care, and shrinking resources for those children when they become adults.
That grim assessment was offered Monday to the Indiana Commission on Autism, a legislative study group charged with making recommendations for how to improve care and services for more than 40,000 Hoosiers who have been diagnosed the disorder.
“Our need for services far outstrips the resources that we’ve devoted to this as a state,” said John Dickerson, executive director of The Arc of Indiana advocacy group.
Most pressing may the long wait for access to the state’s Medicaid-waiver programs, designed to keep people with disabilities from being institutionalized. There are now more than 19,000 people on the Medicaid-waivers list, waiting an average of 10 to 12 years to access federal Medicaid funds to help them offset the cost of in-home or community-based care.
More than 5,500 people on the list are individuals diagnosed with autism.