Autism 203 - 2014- 03-20 - Rosemary White, OTR/L, presents the principles of the DIR/Floortime approach, a treatment philosophy for parents and professionals...
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Rockville, MD (PRWEB) October 07, 2014
As the nations pediatricians gather in San Diego this week for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) annual meeting, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) will be there to share an important message of early detection of speech, language, and hearing disorders. The message will be especially timely given a recent study in AAPs flagship journal Pediatrics, which reported a 63% increase in disability from speech disorders and a nearly 16% increase in disability from hearing disorders among U.S. children over the past decade.
The Pediatrics study, Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 20012011, appeared online August 18, 2014. On a broad level, it showed that the percentage of children with disabilities rose 16% between 2001 and 2011. While childhood disability due to physical conditions declined, a significant increase (21%) in disabilities due to neurodevelopmental or mental health problems was reported. The authors cited a host of potential reasons for the increase, including biologic, familial, social, and cultural factors. Improved awareness, as well as the need for specific diagnoses to receive services such as early intervention, was additionally cited. Rising cases of autism, though not identifiable from the data, may also explain some of the increase in neurodevelopmental or mental health problems, they said.
Pediatricians are generally the first to discover a potential problem related to speech or hearing in a young child or to hear about concerns directly from parents, said Elizabeth McCrea, PhD, CCC-SLP, 2014 ASHA president. As we learn more and more about the compelling benefits of the earliest possible intervention for these disorders, we want to remind pediatricians that it is never too soon for speech-language pathologists and audiologists to assess a child. Indirectly but clearly, the Pediatrics study underscores the need for a continued and growing partnership between pediatricians and communication professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for children who have these disorders.
The message of early detection is consistent with ASHAs ongoing Identify the Signs public education campaign (http://IdentifytheSigns.org), which launched in September 2013. Through public service announcements and a variety of other approaches, the campaign aims to inform parents about these disorders. The benefits of early identification are illustrated in this new infographic on the website. By visiting the website, parents can learn the early signs, find help, and share this critical information with their friends and families.
A wait and see approach, which is all too common, is simply not acceptable when it comes to communication disorders in young children, said McCrea. Parents and professionals must know that the earlier these disorders are identified, the more successful, the less expensive, and the shorter the course of treatment. We are now able to recognize disorders in younger and younger children and, through early assessment and treatment, we can often not only reverse communication disorders but also prevent them from occurring. This is transformative for a childdevelopmentally, academically, and socially. ASHAs more than 173,000 members are here to work with pediatricians, parents, and patients.
For more information and to locate a speech-language pathologist or audiologist, visit http://IdentifytheSigns.org.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 173,000 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. http://www.asha.org/.
View all ASHA press releases at http://www.asha.org/about/news.
The Glenholme School Publishes a New Brochure Highlighting an Inclusive Educational Program for Students with Special Needs
Washington, Connecticut (PRWEB) October 01, 2014
The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school for young people with high functioning autism spectrum disorders including Aspergers; ADHD, OCD, anxiety and various learning differences, utilizes a distinctive approach to fostering student development. The school recently published their new brochure highlighting the various offerings for students with special needs including individualized education, the arts, culinary, and equestrian programs, boarding life, and therapeutic services.
While some schools emphasize the differences between students; Glenholme focuses on an inclusive experience that students not only deserve but also thrive in. By promoting inclusion and acceptance, along with teaching the significance of independence and accountability, students of Glenholme develop the skills they need for a successful and meaningful life.
At Glenholme, students are given the opportunities to experience school just as any other student would. Students are not treated as people with special needs here; they are treated as individuals who deserve a chance to succeed, states Maryann Campbell, Executive Director of The Glenholme School. The only difference between The Glenholme School and a traditional school is the students.
Glenholme instructs students how to succeed in a world that is not always accommodating of them. After enrolling their student in Glenholme, an appreciative set of parents said, Our son was suddenly faced with a challenge that could either defeat him, or make him mature into an extraordinary human being. Glenholme provided the hope, support, and education our family desperately needed, and most importantly, it assured our son that he would be accepted for who he was, and not for what he has. Our son feels safe, accepted, and valued by his school and peer community. He has made meaningful friendships, and loves school.
Inclusion and acceptance are the essence of Glenholme. All students are encouraged to join in activities that were formerly unavailable to them in traditional schools. At Glenholme, everyone is treated equally and there are no exclusions based on differences. Through a meticulously designed program, Glenholme students are provided an inclusive and all-encompassing educational experience filled with a plethora of educational, artistic, recreational, social, and community activities.
Throughout the program, students at Glenholme are taught the skills essential for independence and are held accountable for their daily responsibilities. The competencies students master are carried with them throughout their entire lives. With a comprehensive and inclusive educational experience, graduates are prepared for a post-secondary life after Glenholme and are able to pursue various career and college opportunities.
About The Glenholme School:
The Glenholme School, a center of the Devereux organization, is a therapeutic boarding school for young people with high functioning autism spectrum disorders including Asperger's; ADHD, PDD, OCD, Tourette's, depression, anxiety, and various learning differences. The program provides a treatment milieu designed to build competence socially and academically. The learning environment at Glenholme supports and enhances the ability for young people with special needs to succeed. Devereux is a leading nonprofit behavioral health organization that supports many of the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit http://www.theglenholmeschool.org/.
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Honolulu, Hawaii (PRWEB) September 22, 2014
Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing (AHFI) and the Hawaii Disability Rights Center filed a lawsuit on September 5th in U.S. District Court accusing the State of Hawai`i Department of Human Services of denying critically needed treatment for autistic children. The suit alleges that without the service, called applied behavioral analysis (ABA) treatment, children with autism are less likely to reach their full developmental capacity and are more likely to be institutionalized as adults, according to the CDC. The suit seeks an injunction to require the state to provide ABA to be in compliance with federal Medicaid rules. AHFI attorneys Paul Alston, Kristin Holland and Maile Osika represent the plaintiffs.
About Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
Founded in 1991, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing counsels and represents clients in all types of civil matters,
including business disputes, real property matters, bankruptcy and insolvency, civil rights, healthcare law, employment law, government contracts, government relations, and strategic planning.
Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing is a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.
(J.E. v McManaman, CV 14-00399 BMK)
Autism Advocates, Steinberg Praise States First-In-The-Nation Decision to Expand Medicaid Coverage for Low-Income Kids
Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) September 12, 2014
As many as 75,000 primarily low-income California children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will become eligible for a life-altering form of treatment through Medi-Cal starting Monday September 15th, when California becomes the first state to implement a federal directive to step up Medicaid coverage for children with autism. Up to 12,000 of these children are expected to utilize the new benefits, according to a coalition of California and national advocacy groups. They have joined with Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in praising the states move.
Through this decision we have achieved and cemented the original vision of SB-946, which is full coverage under both private and public health plans for behavioral health treatment, Steinberg said, referring to the autism insurance reform law he authored in 2011. This important milestone will ensure that all children in California, regardless of their insurance or economic status, will have access to life-changing treatments for autism spectrum disorders.
On Monday, the state Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will issue an All-Plan Letter to Californias Medi-Cal managed care plans directing them to start covering behavioral health treatment, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), for individuals with autism up to age 21. Medi-Cal insures more than 5 million children, approximately half of the children in California. Until now, autism treatment has not been available to low-income Californians with ASD who are Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
While 75,000 children could be eligible, experience in California and other states has shown about 1 in 6 will ultimately utilize behavioral health treatment based on medical necessity and other factors. Approximately 4,000 to 6,000 of the affected children currently receive no treatment, including children who lost these critical services last year in the Healthy Families to Medi-Cal transition. Another 6,000 to 7,000 of the affected children now receive behavioral health treatment through the Regional Centers; that will continue until a transition plan is developed for transfer into Medi-Cal plans.
This is a landmark moment for Californias autism community and positions the state as a national leader in delivering meaningful coverage to treat autism, the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, said Dan Unumb, executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center. Behavioral health treatment can dramatically improve the lives of many people with autism, enabling them to mainstream into our schools and society while reducing taxpayer costs for special education and longterm support services. This is a huge step in our ongoing efforts to ensure that all families across the country have access to essential healthcare.
After years of having to inform children and families on Medi-Cal who desperately needed treatment for autism that the state had no help for them, its incredible to be able to tell families we can help connect them to this life-altering treatment, right away, said Kristin Jacobson, president of Autism Deserves Equal Coverage. We commend the California Department of Health Care Services for moving quickly to ensure that all California children get the behavioral health therapy they are entitled to, thereby making a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable California families.
Maria Cruz of Los Angeles has a 9-year-old daughter, Shirley, who was diagnosed with autism when she was 7. Because Medi-Cal has yet to provide behavioral health treatment for autism, Shirley not only was diagnosed very late, but also has never had any treatment for her autism. She was turned down for treatment by the Regional Center and school district and has had nowhere else to turn.
I am delighted that my daughter will be able to get the treatment she so desperately needs, Cruz said. Everywhere I have gone so far the door has been shut in my face. Now our lives can get better.
In April, Maria traveled 14 hours round trip by bus from Los Angeles to Sacramento for the autism awareness rally to ask legislators to help her daughter. I asked them please to help my daughter and now they are. I am so happy!
Jazzmon Wilson from the Sacramento area has two children on the autism spectrum. Her youngest son Joshua is now getting ABA from the ALTA Regional Center. When he was 2 years old, her oldest son Timothy received the treatment from the Regional Center of the East Bay where he made great gains. But when Timothy turned 3, he was determined ineligible for further Regional Center services and his ABA was terminated.
Jazzmons insurance, Medi-Cal, did not cover ABA, so for the next three years, Timothy received no treatment. His behavior deteriorated and many of the gains he had made were lost. He has recently secured some ABA from his school district and started making progress again, but that service is ending in mid-October.
I have seen the benefits of ABA, both for Timothy and Joshua, said Wilson. I cant let what happened to Timothy happen to Joshua. I lost services once for Timothy and it took me almost three years to get them back. He cant lose them again.
Our family wouldnt survive, Wilson said. I am so relieved that I will be able to get treatment from Medi-Cal for Timothy and Joshua. I can sleep again at night.
Background: Autism spectrum disorders are a group of complex disorders of brain development characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The prevalence of autism has skyrocketed tenfold over the past 40 years and now affects an estimated 3 million Americans. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 American children have autism, including 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
Behavioral health treatment has been demonstrated to improve functioning of people with autism. Studies of ABA have shown nearly half of children who receive early intensive treatment can transition into mainstream classrooms with their typically developing peers. However, treatment costs can reach $ 70,000 a year, putting it out of the financial reach of most families without some insurance coverage.
California is one of 37 states requiring state-regulated health plans to cover behavioral health treatment for autism. In addition, health plans sold through Covered California, the states health insurance marketplace, are required to cover the treatment.
Many employer health plans are self-funded and regulated by federal law which does not require autism coverage. However, many California-based employers, such as Apple, Cisco, EBAY, Facebook, Google, Intel, Oracle, PG&E, Qualcomm, Yahoo! and Wells Fargo voluntarily offer the benefit. In addition, the denial of autism benefits through self-funded plans is eroding through class action litigation challenging the prohibitions as a violation of federal and state Mental Health Parity laws.
Autism insurance coverage has become a high priority for an unprecedented number of autism advocacy, childrens advocacy, legal aid, and health advocacy organizations who have worked together to advocate for coverage. The following organizations hail the states action on establishing this new autism benefit.