Vermont’s Response to Autism
June, 2006 - Vermont Interagency White Paper
The Vermont Interagency White Paper on Autism Spectrum Disorders is a Report to the ACT 264 Board dated March 2006. The paper was co-authored by Clare McFadden, Autism Specialist with the State of Vermont Agency of Human Services and Claire Bruno, Autism Consultant with the State of Vermont Department of Education.
At the request of the Act 264 Advisory Board, the State Interagency Team was charged to draft an interagency white paper to answer critical questions about Autism in Vermont.
In June 2005, the Department of Education and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living hired autism specialists to address the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The State Interagency Team delegated the writing of the white paper to the two autism specialists.
The charge of the Act 264 board included questions to look at the current status of meeting the needs of this increasing population and their families.
Questions address: current population, evidence-based practice, services provided by schools and social service agencies, service gaps, current and projected needs, and family supports.
The Autism Specialists conducted a statewide assessment of supports in homes, schools, and communities.
May, 2007 - Act 35- An Act Relating to Autism Spectrum Disorders
Act 35 This act directs both AHS and DOE to work collaboratively to develop a plan for providing services across a lifespan to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. 74 Stakeholders were organized into a steering committee and five subcommittees to work on a plan. Information and input was gatherered from public forums, written input and online surveys. Information was gathered on the needs of the ASD population , the existing infrastructure of service delivery system and made recommendations for improving the system of care.
January, 2008 – Report to the Legislature to Address Services for Individuals with Autism
The Report to the Legislature to Address Services for Individuals with Autism highlighted the work and recommendations that committees conducted. Findings and multiple recommendations were made in the area of
- best practices
- screening and diagnosis
- early intervention
- coordination of services
- access of information and system navigation
- training, technical assistance and workforce development
- adult services
As a result of this work, a State Autism Plan with priority goals across a lifespan was developed. The state has been working on implementing the State Autism Plan and developed a Vermont Autism Plan Advisory Committee ( VAPAC) to oversee the implementation of the plan.