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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Resources for a Newly Diagnosed Individual

Preschool

Getting an autism diagnosis is often overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start with getting services and supports in place for your child. In fact, you may not even be sure what services are appropriate or available in your area. The first step is to contact your local Early Intervention office if your child is under the age of 3. If your child is 3 or older, you should contact your local Intermediate Unit to enroll in services. Links to find these agencies in your county are located below. Once you get involved with Early Intervention or Intermediate Unit, they can assist you in setting up appropriate services and supports and often help families navigate multiple service systems.

Another important step is to connect with other families. While this can be difficult at the beginning, connecting with families can often provide invaluable information from people who have navigated the same systems you are starting to learn about. Often families have recommendations about providers and services that you won’t find anywhere else! Below you will find a link to the ASERT Support Group Map where you can search by county for a group in your area. If you’re not quite ready to attend a meeting in person, it also includes information about online support groups.

Getting your child enrolled in Medical Assistance can be another important step in accessing services and supports. Even if your child is covered by private insurance, Medical Assistance can help cover the cost of medication and treatments that your insurance may not cover. The link below can direct you to your local County Assistance Office which processes all Medical Assistance applications.

The final links are guides developed by Autism Speaks and the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and provide detailed information and step by step guidance to newly diagnosed families.

Preschool

Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS)

Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) was previously known as Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS) or “wraparound” services. These services are individualized mental health services provided in the home, school, or community. The services are provided by trained staff working one‐on‐one with your child to help with emotional or behavioral problems.

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Autism Speaks: 100 Day Kit

This link will take you to a page where you can download a free toolkit explaining what parents need to begin learning about after their child's diagnosis of autism.

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CAR Autism Roadmap

This resource provides information about Autism Spectrum Disorder, including symptoms, diagnosis, and the impact on families and individuals.

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County Government Offices

This resource is a locator for each county's government resources including County Assistance Offices, Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, Intermediate Units, Crisis Intervention, and County MH/ID/EI.

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Medicaid Waivers for Individuals with Autism

This page is about Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers in Pennsylvania. HCBS Waivers are a type of Medicaid program that provides long-term services and supports to groups of people who need support to live in their communities.

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Social Security for Individuals with Autism

Social Security pays disability payments to people who can't work because they have a medical condition that's expected to last at least one year or result in death. This resource will explain the different types of Social Security available to individuals with autism, how to apply for both children and adults, what to expect in a case review, and more.

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School Age

Getting an autism diagnosis is often overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start with getting services and supports in place for your child. In fact, you may not even be sure what services are appropriate or available in your area. One of the first steps is to notify your child’s school of their diagnosis. If the evaluation was conducted outside of the the school setting, the school may want to conduct their own evaluation before providing specialized services. The process of submitting a formal request, completing the evaluation and then scheduling the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting can be long so it is important to do this early after receiving the diagnosis. Links below provide information about the evaluation/IEP process as well as an individual’s right to special education. The PEAL Center is a statewide agency that can also provide information, resources and advocacy related to the education system.

Contacting your County Mental Health/Intellectual Disability Provider or Intermediate Unit is another important step to take after receiving a diagnosis of autism. Links to find these agencies in your county are located below. Once you get involved with your County MH/ID or Intermediate Unit, they can assist you in setting up appropriate services and supports and often help families navigate multiple service systems.

Another important step is to connect with other families. While this can be difficult at the beginning, connecting with families can often provide invaluable information from people who have navigated the same systems you are starting to learn about. Often families have recommendations about providers and services that you won’t find anywhere else! Below you will find a link to the ASERT Support Group Map where you can search by county for a group in your area. If you’re not quite ready to attend a meeting in person, it also includes information about online support groups.

Getting your child enrolled in Medical Assistance can be another important step in accessing services and supports. Even if your child is covered by private insurance, Medical Assistance can help cover the cost of medication and treatments that your insurance may not cover. The link below can direct you to your local County Assistance Office which processes all Medical Assistance applications.

The final links are guides developed by Autism Speaks and the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and provide detailed information and step by step guidance to newly diagnosed families.

School Age

Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit for School Age Children

The days after an autism diagnosis can be overwhelming. The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit helps families of children make the best possible use of the 100 days following diagnosis.

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CAR Autism Roadmap

This resource provides information about Autism Spectrum Disorder, including symptoms, diagnosis, and the impact on families and individuals.

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County Government Offices

This resource is a locator for each county's government resources including County Assistance Offices, Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, Intermediate Units, Crisis Intervention, and County MH/ID/EI.

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The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania

Every student has the right to an education. This resource outlines legal rules for Special Education and early intervention for students with disabilities ages 3 to 21.

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The PEAL Center

The PEAL Center helps families and individuals with disabilities and special health care needs using a variety of strategies. PEAL offers services in six areas: outreach, individual assistance, resources, trainings, leadership development, and partnerships.

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IDEA Parent Guide

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has created the IDEA Parent Guide to help you become an informed and effective partner with school personnel in supporting your child’s special learning and behavioral needs.

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Medicaid Waivers for Individuals with Autism

This page is about Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers in Pennsylvania. HCBS Waivers are a type of Medicaid program that provides long-term services and supports to groups of people who need support to live in their communities.

View Resource

Social Security for Individuals with Autism

Social Security pays disability payments to people who can't work because they have a medical condition that's expected to last at least one year or result in death. This resource will explain the different types of Social Security available to individuals with autism, how to apply for both children and adults, what to expect in a case review, and more.

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Adult

Getting an autism diagnosis is often overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start with getting services and supports in place. In fact, you may not even be sure what services are appropriate or available in your area.

Contacting your County Mental Health/Intellectual Disability Provider is an important step to take after receiving a diagnosis of autism. Links to find these agencies in your county are located below along with information on the Medicaid Waiver programs available to individuals with autism, and how to get registered for those programs.

Getting enrolled in Medical Assistance can be another important step in accessing services and supports.  The link below can direct you to your local County Assistance Office which processes all Medical Assistance applications. Additionally, applying for Social Security may be another thing to consider and look into.

The final links are guides for talking with employers, a kit from Autism Speaks for individuals diagnosed as adults as well as information for connecting to autism advocacy organizations.

Adult

Medicaid Waivers for Individuals with Autism

This page is about Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers in Pennsylvania. HCBS Waivers are a type of Medicaid program that provides long-term services and supports to groups of people who need support to live in their communities.

View Resource

County Government Offices

This resource is a locator for each county's government resources including County Assistance Offices, Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, Intermediate Units, Crisis Intervention, and County MH/ID/EI.

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Is it Autism and If So, What Next?

This guide from Autism Speaks provides an overview of autism and helps clarify whether you should seek out an evaluation by a professional.

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Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Handbook

The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors. Services are provided on an individualized basis. This guide from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry explains the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the services it provides.

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How to Get a Reasonable Accommodation on the Job

The ADA requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

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Social Security for Individuals with Autism

Social Security pays disability payments to people who can't work because they have a medical condition that's expected to last at least one year or result in death. This resource will explain the different types of Social Security available to individuals with autism, how to apply for both children and adults, what to expect in a case review, and more.

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Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism.

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Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN)

The Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) is one of the longest standing youth-led, youth-driven groups in Pennsylvania.

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