Autism Awareness Training for First Responders Teaches Emergency Personnel How to Respond to Individuals with Autism

Therapy room at Lighthouse Autism Center with toys on a table with blue chairs and book shelves above

Autism Awareness Training for First Responders Teaches Emergency Personnel How to Respond to Individuals with Autism

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT) today announced that they will partner to train first responders on how to approach and interact with individuals with autism spectrum disorder beginning in April for Autism Awareness Month. IBT has trained over 3,000 people across the United States and various countries since 2013. The free training titled, “Autism for First Responders,” will be presented in Fairport, N.Y. on April 30; Larchmont, N.Y. on April 30; Chicago, Ill. on April 23; Austin, Texas on April 26; Phoenix, Ariz. on April 28 and 29; Washington, D.C. on April 23; and in the following California cities, Sacramento on April 28, Fresno on April 25, Woodland Hills on April 24, Thousand Oaks on April 30, Tustin on May 1, Temecula on April 29, Riverside on April 28, and San Marcos on April 29.

According to the new statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 27, 2014, one in every 68 children in America is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls diagnosed. As more children, teens and adults are impacted by ASD, more police and other first responders will have interactions with the population.

Individuals with autism may struggle to communicate, make appropriate eye contact or even respond to someone asking them their name. The behaviors that children and teens with ASD display vary greatly, which is why autism is described as a spectrum disorder. Parents and professionals agree that safety is a huge concern for everyone in this population as they may be easily distracted, lost or even elope from their school or surroundings. The “Autism for First Responders” training will enable emergency personnel to recognize the signs of ASD and react accordingly to minimize their own risk and that of the individuals with autism.

“Training first responders to recognize ASD is crucial,” said Cecilia H. Knight, director of IBT. “Helping a family find a child who has wandered away, protecting an adult with autism whose behavior is misunderstood, or helping a paramedic know how to interact when a child is injured can truly make a life or death difference. Recognizing the signs of autism and knowing how to react is key.”

The trainings will be hosted by CARD treatment centers across the United States. IBT’s training will teach attendees the signs and symptoms of ASD, how to communicate with individuals who appear to be affected by autism and tips for first responders who interact with individuals on the spectrum. For more information on the events or to set-up a training, please visit https://www.centerforautism.com/first-responders.aspx
For the original article see the link below

https://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11782687.htm

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Six-Year Quest For Kansas Autism Insurance Reform Ends in Victory

OVERLAND PARK, KS (April 16, 2014) — Governor Sam Brownback today signed legislation expanding autism insurance coverage beyond the state employee health benefit program, culminating a six-year campaign to enact more meaningful reform in Kansas. Enactment of the law also made Kansas the 10th state to amend its original autism insurance law to make it stronger.

“Autism Speaks applauds Governor Brownback’s support of the autism community,” said Mike Wasmer, a Kansas resident who serves as Autism Speaks’ director of state government affairs.  “This bill is an important step toward providing access to medically necessary treatment for all individuals with autism in Kansas.”

Sponsored by Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee), the new law, HB.2744, will require state-regulated large group and “grandfathered” small group individual health plans to cover medically necessary treatments, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), for autism for children up to age 12.

The bill as initially proposed by the House Insurance Committee would have limited ABA coverage to 10 hours per week, but was raised after vigorous opposition from the state’s autism community. As enacted, the new law allows for 25 hours per week of ABA for four years from the time of diagnosis and then reduces to 10 hours per week.

The new law is spearate from the state’s 2010 autism insurance reform law which applies only to state employees. The 2010 legislation when introduced would have covered the private market, but was amended into a pilot program limited to state employees to gauge the impact on health care costs. When the 2010 law was enacted, Wasmer, then president of the Kansas Coalition for Autism Legislation (KCAL), said, “This is not the end, but rather the start of getting autism treatment to all in need in the state of Kansas.”

After being judged a success, the program was made permanent for state employees, but Kansas lawmakers continued to resist efforts to expand the coverage to the private market. In 2012, efforts to force a bill out of a committee fell one vote shy of success.

After Rubin introduced a bill this year that would have provided broader coverage, the insurance lobby filed a second version with much more restrictive terms and would have cut back existing benefits for state workers. After heated opposition from the state’s autism community, HB.2744 was introduced as a compromise measure.

Wasmer said the new law marks a step forward, but that efforts will continue to provide the best coverage for the most children. The existing state employee autism benefit will continue unaffected by the  new law.

The original article can be found on the Autism Speaks website at the link below:

https://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/advocacy-news/six-year-quest-kansas-autism-insurance-reform-ends-victory

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Parent Support Groups

Indiana University has compiled a list of Autism Society of America chapters and additional support groups across Indiana for parents of children across the autism spectrum. This information is provided to help those families trying to locate a group for support. The support groups listed may or may not provide you and your family with the specific kind of support you are seeking. Please call the contact person directly to find out about the specific focus of the support group, and to find out about meeting places and schedules. Certain groups have mailing lists, email listservs, or blogs you can ask about when you call.

See the link below for a list of area support groups by city.

https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/index.php?pageId=546

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Lighthouse Opens Second Center in Mishawaka- April 2014

Second Autism Center Opens in Mishawaka, Indiana

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As you know, the prevalence of Autism and need for Autism care in our community is significant and overwhelmingly underserved. Because of the growing need
throughout the Michiana area, Lighthouse will open its second center, located in Mishawaka, in April – in honor of National Autism Awareness Month. “Opening a new center in Mishawaka has allowed us to create the Early Learner Program – a program aimed at even more focused therapy for our youngest age group – the two- to six year-old group that’s so crucial to reach,” said Gregg Maggioli, Executive Director. “This program is 100% designed to best meet the needs of our children and help facilitate transition into a school program. We see the goals of the new Mishawaka center and the ELP program as one in the same – to help children reach their full potential.” The ELP program is completely individualized and targets the youngest age groups because of
the documented studies that show a higher success rate. “The earlier we can provide therapy for this age group, the best chance we have of helping them reach their full potential,” said Maggioli. “There’s a danger in waiting. You can never get that time back. Parents and physicians should never take a wait-and-see approach. What is a limitation later on could have been an obstacle avoided if we could only have intervened with therapy.”

Want to read more? To view the entire April 2014 edition of The Lighthouse Beacon click here.

Find a Center Near You

Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.

Welcome to Lighthouse Autism Center – April 2014

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Welcome to Lighthouse – the Autism treatment leader in Indiana. We’re pleased to provide you with The Autism Beacon newsletter – a quarterly publication dedicated
to keeping you up to date with relevant news on Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders
and extending information on the available resources at our Mishawaka and Warsaw centers for your patients in need. Lighthouse is 100% focused on Autism and, specifically, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – the only therapy that has been vetted by the medical and higher education communities. ABA therapy is endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General as an approach to teaching social, motor, and verbal behaviors as well as reasoning skills. Over 30 years of research has proven ABA to result in very positive outcomes when used as an early-intervention tool for Autism. Lighthouse is the only center in Michiana with an award-winning management team who are also parents to a child with Autism. Gregg Maggioli, Executive Director, and wife, Sandy, founded Lighthouse because they understand the frustration and feeling of helplessness when parents are told their child has Autism. “Lighthouse cares for children and their parents as though they are part of its extended family – this is the type of environment we experienced with our son in Carmel, Indiana. As time went on, we discovered an unmet need in this area and are now exceedingly proud and fulfilled to provide the same foundation for kids in this community,” said Gregg Maggioli, Executive Director. “Our therapists love, care for, and find joy in each one of the children. No one cares about the kids and their families as much as Lighthouse. We are dedicated to providing the best therapy while addressing the needs of the family as well.”

Want to read more? To view the entire April 2014 edition of The Lighthouse Beacon click here.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

#35: Utah Enacts Autism Insurance Reform

SALT LAKE CITY (April 3, 2014) — — Gov. Gary Herbert today signed legislation making Utah the 35th state to enact autism insurance reform. Utah has one of the nation’s highest rates of prevalence for autism at 1 in 54, or about 2 percent of the state population.

Sen. Brian Shiozawa (at the podium) and Governor Herbert

Sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozowa, the bill (SB.57) was fiercely opposed by the insurance industry. The enactment of the law culminated six years of effort by the Utah Autism Coalition, providers and families to end insurance company discrimination against people with autism.

“Autism Speaks commends Senator Brian Shiozawa for his leadership in delivering for the Utah autism community,” said Mike Wasmer, Autism Speaks’ associate director of state government affairs. “The Utah Autism Coalition has fought hard to make this day happen and we were proud to be their partner.”

The law requires many state-regulated health plans to cover speech, occupational and physical therapy, psychological and psychiatric care, and behavioral health treatments, including applied behavior analysis (ABA).

The original article was posted on Autism Speaks website here https://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/advocacy-news/35-utah-enacts-autism-insurance-reform

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Light the Way

On Saturday, April 26 from 10:00am-12:00pm, ADEC will be hosting an Autism Awareness event in downtown Elkhart. There will activities for children, a sensory table, coffee and donuts. The ADEC bell choir will also be there to perform. This event is a great opportunity for families to meet, network, and explore community resources. Lighthouse will also have a table there so stop on by and say hello!  For more information on the event you can click here to see the Light the Way 2014 flyer.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Clinical Corner- April 2014

Is your toddler repetitive?
Could be Autism. Study warns.
April 2014- The Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology published a new paper that will make each parent sit up and observe their child’s behavior. The study, published by lead researcher Joseph Piven, found that children demonstrating repetitive behaviors like flapping hands, spinning, etc. by their first birthday are four times more likely to have autism than
children who don’t do such repetitive actions. The study adds weight to the theory that repetitive behaviors might be a red flag for Autism that all parents should watch out for. The study, conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sends mixed signals, as repetitive actions like babbling syllables and wiggling arms are often the
first developmental milestones that children show. Distinguishing them from behaviors that point towards Autism might need sharper observation and definitely more research.

Want to read more? To view the entire April 2014 edition of The Lighthouse Beacon click here.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Heart of the Matter- April 2014

April 2014- As stated in our mission, and evidenced by the many successes and heartfelt testimonials of our parents, it is our privilege and calling to provide quality ABA therapy where it is needed. As the only center in Michiana for Autism with an award-winning management team, we know it is our child-focused and family-focused philosophy that helps us achieve enduring success. It is our understanding, having been in their shoes, that helps them stay strong and positive amidst daily challenges. We make every effort to help families of children with Autism through the use of Verbal Behavior ABA Therapy – and I know it works when I can see, with my own eyes, transformations like that of an 11-year-old child who used the restroom on their own for the first time, or transitioning a 5-year old back to school after getting behaviors under control. As a father of an Autistic child, I know how marvelous and longed for these moments are for parents. Please keep us in mind when your patients and parents are in need of our services – we can’t wait to help them achieve these incredibly memorable steps in their children’s lives.

Want to read more? To view the entire April 2014 edition of The Lighthouse Beacon click here.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Sesame Street to Focus on Autism

The nonprofit behind Big Bird, Elmo and Abby Cadabby is launching a new effort to reduce stigma surrounding kids with autism and help those with the developmental disorder learn life skills.

Through a new initiative dubbed “See Amazing in All Children,” Sesame Workshop said it will create digital tools to help children with autism learn to play with others and complete everyday activities like brushing teeth, getting dressed and trying new foods.

In addition, the organization said it will use Sesame Street’s brand and characters to educate the public about autism and emphasize that kids on the spectrum are much like their typically developing peers.

“This has become one of the most widely-discussed topics in childhood development, yet we have found that there’s a lack of understanding among the general public about children with autism,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for community and family engagement. “Sesame Workshop has a long history of addressing diversity, acceptance and inclusion, and we felt we could play a critical role in reducing misconceptions by highlighting the commonalities children with autism share with all children.”

Beyond its efforts aimed at children, Sesame Workshop said it also plans to work with Exceptional Minds, a Sherman Oaks, Calif. vocational center that teaches young adults with autism computer animation and post-production skills, to help create content.

The original article was published here on Disability Scoop:  https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/04/04/sesame-street-autism/19257/

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Light the Way for Autism Awareness

On Saturday, April 16 from 10:00am to 12:00pm ADEC  will be holding an autism awareness event at 319 S. Main St in downtown Elkhart. There will be materials there for you to decorate your own balloon to hang along the downtown sidewalk. These balloons will honor our loved one’s who are on the autism spectrum. There will also be activities for children, a sensory table with ideas, coffee and donuts. The ADEC bell choir will perform and representatives from local groups will be available to answer questions. ! This is a great opportunity for families to meet, network, exchange information and explore community resources.

Lighthouse Autism Center will also have a table there so please stop by and see us!

For more information call 574-294-6197 x 3104 or e-mail blakesleev@adecinc.com.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential