The Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP) provides evaluation for the Vermont Department of Health‘s Vermont Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities (DD), a grant from the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
The survey link is posted on the VFN website and it will be posted on the Autism News and Surveys pages. The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete and covers topics like:
- Accessibility of Services
- Accessibility of Information
- Coordination of Community and Medical Based Care
- Family Centered and Culturally Appropriate Care
- Funding to pay for ASD-DD Services
To participate in this survey click on this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SurveyFamiliesChildrenASD-DD
The survey will remain open until Friday May 24th. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. email Maria Mercedes Avila or call at (w) 802-656-8376 Adjunct Faculty – College of Nursing and Health SciencesProgram Evaluator – Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP) – College of MedicineProgram Evaluator and Multi-cultural Coordinator – Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals (ILEHP) – College of Medicine – University of Vermont
Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism (Journal of Pediatrics)
To read a full report, click here.
Vermont Autism Task Force is seeking help from families who are actively seeking treatment for their kids and help from providers who would like to provide treatments.The Autism Task Force has developed 2 WIKIs to share information and to help coordinate our efforts. Both WIKIS are closed to the public. Access to the WIKIS can be requested below. Please be sure to specify whether you are a parent/provider when submitting your request. The goal of this WIKI is to provide a place for discussion regarding Vermont Act 158, known to many as the Autism Treatment Law (although it covers all early childhood developmental disorders). This WIKI is for parents and primary caregivers of individuals on the spectrum and other developmental disabilities. We also have a WIKI for professionals. For more information, please contact Amy Cohen for information on how to join the ACT 158 WIKI for professionals, including staff at Designated Agencies.
- Parent/Primary Caregiver WIKI (facilitated by Claudia Pringles)
- WIKI for providers, including therapists and designated agency staff (facilitated by Amy Cohen)
The School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota is seeking your assistance in recruiting parents with disabilities and their family members to participate in a worldwide research study on the parental support needs of parents with disabilities. The purpose of this research is to learn from parents with disabilities and their family members about the parental supports that are needed and helpful to them in raising their children. This information will be used in efforts to enhance parental supports for parents with disabilities.
Parents with disabilities AND family members of parents with disabilities are invited to complete a short and anonymous on-line survey about parental supports for parents with disabilities. Click here to take the survey.For more information contact Liz Lightfoot, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota or call 612-624-4734.
Autism Speaks is thrilled to announce that through the generosity of Sevenly.org and the James W. Pickle Foundation, 625 financially disadvantaged individuals with autism and schools will receive an Apple iPad 2!
Eligible applicants are individuals who:
- Have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional,
- Reside in the United States,
- Have limited income and cannot afford to purchase an iPad.
To get more information click here.
Vermont’s State Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with ASD/DD
Vermont’s application for a federal State Implementation Grant for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Developmental Disabilities was approved and funded. The recipient organization is the Department of Health, with co-leadership/management with the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living. The first year’s funding is $267,463, and the second and third years may be fully funded at $300,000 each.
Vermont is one of only four states awarded these grants, out of 22 applicants.
Implementation of the grant will be overseen by the Vermont Autism Plan Advisory Committee, which includes 50% parents/individuals with ASD. Activities included in the grant include developing a process to be used by primary care doctors to guide the flow from screening, to diagnosis to early intervention; health care checklists specific to ASD for physicians; process for enhanced collaboration between primary physicians and community teams; assessing current resources, services models and unmet needs and developing new flexible models and funding mechanisms; extension of the VCHIP screening project to ensure appropriate developmental and ASD screening in primary care practices; training and mentoring of parents and providers in evidence-based interventions for children under 6; autism awareness activities; development of a web-based information resource and live phone support; and preparing adult primary care practices to provide medical care to adults and development of a guide for transition for youth with ASD.
The Departments look forward to working collaboratively with individuals with ASD, families and community partners on these activities.
The Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP) provides evaluation services for the Vermont Department of Health‘s Vermont Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities (DD) grant from the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
During the summer 2011, VCHIP developed an electronic survey to collect data from parents/families that have a child who has been diagnosed with ASD/DD. The survey was developed in collaboration with VT-ILELP, HowardCenter and families of children with ASD/DD.
To see this report, click here.
Expanded Autism Treatment Bill Signed into Law by Governor Peter Shumlin
Thanks to a collaborative, grassroots effort that involved parents, professionals, legislators, and the Administration, S.223, the Autism Treatment Bill, has now been signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin. The bill expands the current law which provides coverage for autism treatment between the ages of 18 months to 6 years.
In summary, the bill covers:
- Children from birth to age 21
- Private insurance coverage (start date between 10/12 and 10/13) and Medicaid (start date 7/12). The bill does not apply to self-insured plans
- Expands definition to include other early developmental childhood disorders
- Includes medically necessary treatments such as ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc.
- Treatment can be prescribed by a licensed health care provider or a licensed psychologist
There are now 30 states that have passed autism insurance reform legislation. Vermont is the only state that has expanded the mandate to include Medicaid.
A new publication is available for families called My Name is Seala. This book was written by a Vermont author, Nicole Mardin about her daughter Seala’s experience with PDD-NOS and efforts to raise Autism Awareness. Vermont Family Network has been selected as one of the recipients of funds from some of the proceeds of the book . Thank you Nicole for your work in raising Autism Awareness.
Announcement on Ipad/Ipod Funding
Effective 6/01/2012, the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) will begin covering ipad/ipod devices as dedicated speech generating/augmentative communication devices for VT Medicaid beneficiaries whose severe communication impairment prevents writing, telephone use, and/or talking. Because the device supplier is not a standard Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider, the DVHA has determined that the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) performing the evaluation will be considered the provider of record. The prescribing SLP is required to be an enrolled provider. If the beneficiary has more than one SLP, for example a school and a medical model SLP or an expert consultant, and one SLP is an enrolled VT Medicaid provider, SLP collaboration will be allowed during the evaluation/prescribing process; the enrolled SLP submits the request. Note that there has been no change to Medicaid Rule and there has been no change to the process of authorization for all other types of augmentative communication devices. A packet that includes the DVHA evaluation and prescription form, the DVHA Ownership form, Rule related to speech generating devices and a procedure checklist is available at:
For more information click here and look under Durable Medical Equipment.
Seeking Participants for Study on Parent Wellness for parents with children on the Autism Spectrum
The study involves completing an online survey via the link below, followed by a short activity each night for 7 days. Once the activity is completed, participants receive an email with a link to respond to a second set of questions. Upon completing the study, participants will be compensated $15 for their time. For more information about this project click here.
To take this survey click on this link: http://surveymonkey.com/parentalwellbeing
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.
Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to the foundation at this website.
“The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is dedicated to improving a child’s health and quality of life by making it easier to access needed medical-related services. The grants enable families to focus on their children’s care instead of worrying about how they’ll pay their medical bills,” said Matt Peterson, president, UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation. “Eligible families in need are encouraged to apply online for a medical grant today and take advantage of this valuable resource.”
In 2011, UHCCF awarded more than 1,200 grants to families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. As successful fund-raising efforts continue to grow, UHCCF is hoping to help more children and families in 2012.
CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder
The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the United States is soaring, with roughly 1 in 88 being diagnosed with this condition, according to a new study released this morning by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This new figure reflects a 23 percent increase from data the public health agency released two years ago.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities. Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.
ASD Social Understanding Study at UVM/Seeking Volunteers
The Department of Communication Sciences at the University of Vermont is currently seeking volunteers for participation in a study, which will seek to compare the effects of social stories vs. comic strip conversations for supporting the social understanding and successful behaviors of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
During the initial visit (about 2 hours total), parents will be asked to complete a demographic questionnaire, the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI). Parents will also be asked to participate in an interview so that we may learn about the kinds of conflicts that are experienced in the home that might be helped through intervention. Parents will be asked to complete 6 measures of child functioning. These are the ToMI, the Carey Temperament Scales, the Social Skills Rating Scale, the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, the Social Responsiveness Scale, and the Language Use Inventory. Children with ASD will be asked to complete a Theory of Mind (ToM) task battery, a measure of receptive vocabulary (the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)-4, and the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence. A challenging situation that occurs in the home will be videotaped before and after intervention. In addition, one parent will be asked to participate in one brief videotaped interactions (about 1 minute) with their child during a semi-structured task. This will also be done before and after intervention.
The study will consist of 5 phases: a baseline (no intervention) phase (2 weeks), a Comic Strip Conversation phase (5 weeks), a withdrawal (no intervention) phase (3 weeks), a Social Story intervention phase (5 weeks), and a final withdrawal phase (3 weeks). Intervention will occur in the family’s home 2 times a week and during a parent will be asked to fill out brief daily diaries that we provide (no more than 2 – 3 minutes per day) over the course of study.
Approximately 50 families and children with ASD will be selected to participate in this study. Children with ASD will be between the ages of 2 and 17 years. If you are interested in participating or know of any other families with children with ASD who may be interested in participating, please direct inquiries to Dr. Patricia Prelock (656-2529; email@example.com) or Dr. Tiffany Hutchins (425-5655; firstname.lastname@example.org) at the University of Vermont.
Funding for Ipads
New Proloquo2Go App Donation Program
New Study on Teens with ASD and Driving
A new study on driving and young people with ASD has just been published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The study, which recruited families through IAN Research, was based on an online survey. The researchers found that, of the teens who were old enough to drive, 29% were currently driving and 34% planned to learn.
For more information click here
Insurance Coverage for Autism Treatment Begins October 1, 2011
As early as October 1st, private insurance companies will no longer be able to specifically exclude or severely limit coverage of necessary treatments for children with autism. This is wonderful news for families who struggle to pay out of pocket or go without necessary treatments for their children on the spectrum. For more information click here.
( Added 5/23/11)
New Checklist May Help Diagnose Autism Earlier
A new study from the University of California, San Diego, has found that a simple checklist may help diagnose autism in children as young as 12 months. The study screened 10,479 infants at their one-year check-ups by having parents fill out a brief, five-minute checklist with questions about their child’s eye contact, sounds, words and other forms of communication. Of those children, 184 failed the initial screening and received further evaluation. Ultimately, 32 of those infants have been diagnosed with autism, 56 with language delays, nine with developmental delays, and 36 with other disabilities. Click here to read more.
Strategic Plan for Autism
The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) was established in accordance with the Combating Autism Act of 2006. The updated Strategic Plan contains 16 new research objectives covering a variety of issues, including use and accessibility of interventions for non-verbal people with ASD, health promotion for people with ASD, and issues related to safety for people on the spectrum.This strategic plan report was released January 2011.