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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Massachusetts Autism Commission

In Springfield, WWLP reports on the Massachusetts Autism Commission:

Major recommendations include:

1. Expand eligibility criteria for the Department of Developmental Services so that individuals with autism who have IQs over 70 and have substantial functional limitations have access to services.
2. Assure that those with autism and a co-occurring mental health condition have equal access to and appropriate services from the Department of Mental Health.
3. Expand intensive services in the home and community for individuals with autism through the
Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver, the Adult Medicaid Waivers, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education/Department of Developmental Services Residential Placement Prevention Program.
4. Expand insurance coverage for autism treatments
5. Increase and fortify supports and resources that make it possible to maintain the family unit and assist individuals with autism to live in the community.
6. Determine the number of people with autism in Massachusetts and their support needs by
implementing a plan for consistent statewide data collection.
7. Improve access to autism screening, diagnosis, and Autism Specialty Services through Early Intervention for children diagnosed with autism and those considered at high risk for autism.
8. Increase employment opportunities for individuals with autism by providing a range of job training, job development, and employment opportunities.
9. Increase capacity to provide educational supports and services necessary to meet the needs of all students with autism.
10. Increase availability of augmentative and alternative communication methods, devices and
services for individuals with autism.
11. Increase the range of housing options for individuals with autism.
12. Improve the delivery of healthcare services for individuals with autism. 13. Assure that the Autism Commission’s Recommendations are implemented and outcomes are
monitored for effectiveness.