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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Update on the previous DDP Children's Autism Waiver - November 2017

The waiver is no longer called the Children's Autism Waiver. You can view the approval letter here.

The information below is taken from the Medicaid waiver approval letter and applies only to the evaluation for services under that waiver. There is no information included on what agency will be conducting the evaluations for services under the DDP, non-school waiver.

The OPI is in the process of revising out autism criteria but THE OPI WILL NOT BE MAKING CHANGES TO THE EVALUATION TEAM OR PROCESS IN SCHOOLS.  I just want to be clear that the information below does not apply to public school services, it only applies to services from the Developmental Disability Program under their waiver.


Comprehensive Evaluation—A comprehensive evaluation will be conducted by a team consisting of a child and adolescent psychiatrist or pediatrician; and either a Board Certified Behavior Analyst ( BCBA), licensed clinical psychologist, licensed clinical professional counselor, or licensed clinical social worker. The evaluation will involve age appropriate validated evaluation tools for functional development, gathering information from qualified practitioners and other individuals who have knowledge regarding the child' s behavior, and direct observation.

 
The OPI is in the process of revising out autism criteria but THE OPI WILL NOT BE MAKING CHANGES TO THE EVALUATION TEAM OR PROCESS IN SCHOOLS.  I just want to be clear that the information above does not apply to public school services, it only applies to services from the Developmental Disability Program under their waiver.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Portrayals of autism on television don’t showcase full spectrum

If you’re a fan of either of two new television shows that debuted in the United States this September — “Atypical” on the streaming service Netflix or “The Good Doctor” on ABC  I’ve got news for you. You’re watching an overly positive depiction of autism that doesn’t reflect reality for the majority of people on the spectrum.
To the TV-watching public, autism has come to mean the verbal, higher-skilled, savant end of the spectrum, because individuals at that end make for interesting characters.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Iceland is close to becoming the first country where no-one gives birth to a child with Down's syndrome.

Iceland is close to becoming the first country where no-one gives birth to a child with Down's syndrome.
Pre-natal tests were introduced in the early 2000s, and the vast majority who receive a positive test have terminated their pregnancy.
While the tests are optional, all expectant mothers are informed about their availability, and up to 85 per cent choose to take it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mercury and Autism: Enough Already!

The science shows that they have nothing to do with each other and never have

Read more here. 

Smart Shop: Identifying the Evidence-Based Practices in Commonly Used Curriculum



In this edition, we’ll continue to explore sessions from the Communities of Leaders in Autism (CoLA) Summer Institute. This month’s presentations cover EBPs, or evidence-based practices!

Sue Palko, Region 1 Autism Program Coordinator, and Karen Berlin, Training and Technical Assistance Center at George Mason University, presented Smart Shop: Identifying the Evidence-Based Practice in Commonly Used Curriculum. This presentation reviewed the importance of relying on scientific behavior knowledge and evidence-based practices when selecting and using curricula for instruction of learners with autism spectrum disorders and examined available tools to help educators determine if commercial products and curriculum are a “right fit” for their students. While no ASD specific tool for this purpose has yet been developed, school division leadership and educators can use the following tools to inform and guide their selection and decision making processes:

Hexagon Tool: The Hexagon Tool helps states, divisions, and schools systematically evaluate new and existing interventions via six broad factors: needs, fit, resource availability, evidence, readiness for replication, and capacity to implement.

Selection of Evidence Based Practices Tool: This Virginia Tiered Systems of Support selection tool provides guiding questions to help stakeholders determine if an intervention will be a “right fit” for its intended purpose within a division or school.

Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence, (VCU-ACE): Based on the skill competencies for professionals supporting individuals with ASD across the lifespan, this website provides on-line training, resources, and links to training information on EBPs listed by NPDC (below) and the National Autism Center.
National Professional Center for ASD: This website maintains resources and information on specific evidence-based practices for ASD and provides free access to AFIRM online modules and resources for each of the 27 EBPs.

National Autism Center: This website houses the “National Standards Project” report which provides qualitative analysis and guidance about which interventions have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD.

Autism Internet Modules: This website provides 45 free on-line training modules on evidence based practices for learners with ASD.
Other web-based resources to guide an educator’s selection of academic instructional resources and curriculum: