Autism – Asperger’s 

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.

We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.

Indicators of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.  Autism SpeaksNih.gov *

Health Insurance 

Please note that under health care reform, it's all guaranteed issue, no pre x and mental health is an essential benefit!

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Note there are limitations on when you can purchase coverage, like Open Enrollment, Special Enrollment...  Medi-Cal is year around.

Resources & Links

Autism Speaks - Types of Health Plans

CHIP Children's Health Plan

Signs & Symptom

People with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. The list below gives some examples of the types of behaviors that are seen in people diagnosed with ASD. Not all people with ASD will show all behaviors, but most will show several.

Social communication / interaction behaviors may include:

  • Making little or inconsistent eye contact
  • Tending not to look at or listen to people
  • Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others
  • Failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name or to other verbal attempts to gain attention
  • Having difficulties with the back and forth of conversation
  • Often talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond
  • Having facial expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said
  • Having an unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like
  • Having trouble understanding another person’s point of view or being unable to predict or understand other people’s actions

Restrictive / repetitive behaviors may include:

  • Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors. For example, repeating words or phrases, a behavior called echolalia
  • Having a lasting intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts
  • Having overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects
  • Getting upset by slight changes in a routine
  • Being more or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, noise, clothing, or temperature

People with ASD may also experience sleep problems and irritability. Although people with ASD experience many challenges, they may also have many strengths, including:

  • Being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time
  • Being strong visual and auditory learners
  • Excelling in math, science, music, or art  Nih.gov  * 

AB-1074  pervasive developmental disorder or autism 

This bill would revise those provisions, for purposes of health care service plans and health insurers, to require a qualified autism service professional or a qualified autism service paraprofessional to be supervised by a qualified autism service provider for purposes of providing behavioral health treatment.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

 
Existing law …Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Knox-Keene Act), requires a health care service plan contract or a health insurance policy to provide coverage for behavioral health treatment for pervasive developmental disorder or autism, and defines behavioral health treatment” to mean specified services provided by, among others, a qualified autism service professional supervised and employed by a qualified autism service provider. Under existing law, to the extent required by the federal government and effective no sooner than required by the federal government, behavioral health treatment, as defined under the Knox-Keene Act, is a covered service under the Medi-Cal program for individuals under 21 years of age, as specified.
The bill would require a qualified autism service professional and a qualified autism service paraprofessional to be employed by a qualified autism service provider or an entity or group that employs qualified autism service providers.
The bill additionally would authorize a qualified autism service professional, as specified, to supervise a qualified autism service paraprofessional.
The bill would revise the definition of a qualified autism service professional to, among other things, specify that the behavioral health treatment provided by the qualified autism service professional may include clinical case management and case supervision under the direction and supervision of a qualified autism service provider.
The bill would revise the definition of behavioral health treatment for purposes of the Medi-Cal program to be those services administered by the State Department of Health Care Services as described in the state plan approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   leginfo.ca.gov *
 

Court Ruling in favor of autism –  AB 1704
Applied Behavior Analysis treatment

 

Applied Behavior Analysis

understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment. “behavior” refers to actions and skills. “Environment” includes any influence – physical or social – that might change or be changed by one’s behavior.

Video 

 

Applied Behavior Analysis treatment

Health Care Reform – Essential Health Benefit

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