The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) runs a program for low-income children with autism called the Autism Services Waiver Program. This program serves children under the age of 9 who meet both the clinical and financial eligibility that includes having/obtaining MassHealth Standard Insurance. At this time the program serves approximately 385 children a year. While the program is near capacity, there is a high rate of turn- over in the program every year, so we want to have a new pool of applicants to draw from to fill open slots.
Today, I need to ask for your help in disseminating this information about the upcoming Autism Waiver Program’s Open Request Period. The Autism Division will accept new application requests for families interested in this program between the dates of October 17th, 2016 and October 31st,2016. Applications must be postmarked or emailed from a parent/guardian no earlier than October 17, 2016 and no later than October 31, 2016.
This Waiver is a Medicaid Program designed to provide services to help children with autism remain in their homes and actively participate with their families and community. This program receives partial funding from the federal government. Waiver services are supplemental to special education services provided under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.) This Program requires that each family hire a specialized clinician who creates an individually designed Behavior Plan, based on a therapy model chosen by the family, to support their child’s assessed needs. The family will also need to hire direct support staff to provide the one-to-one intensive therapy designated in the Positive Behavior Support Plan. Families in the Program also have an opportunity to choose other waiver services designed to help their children develop in areas related to behavior, social skills and communication. Additional services under the waiver include community integration activities, family training and respite.
A copy of the Autism Waiver Program Open Request Application and Open Request Family Overview is enclosed in English. The application form, family notice and related materials (in multiple languages*) will also be available on the DDS web-site at www.mass.gov/DDS and at the seven regionally based Autism Support Centers (a list of the Centers is available on the DDS website).
*Translation and Interpretation is offered free of charge to participants.
Thank you for your time, please do not hesitate to contact the Autism Division at AutismDivision@state.ma.us or your local Autism Support Center if you have any questions about this application process.
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