Open Enrollment, November 2016 What You Need to Know

 

What you need to know:

The landscape of health insurance has dramatically changed over the course of 2016, with many companies, such as Unitedhealthcare, leaving the individual market in Indiana. Unfortunately, there are fewer choices for 2017, which makes it more important to begin shopping early.

A health insurance plan covering ABA services is necessary for any family who has a child with autism and wishes to access therapy. For those that may not currently have health insurance, or have group coverage that does not offer coverage for ABA therapy, now is the time to enroll.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a new way for families to enroll in insurance – it’s called open enrollment. This is a yearly period when individuals can enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. To obtain insurance coverage for 2017, you must purchase a policy between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. While you may purchase a policy anytime during this period, the earliest the plan will be effective is January 1, 2017.

The Insurance Department at Lighthouse Autism Center has been working diligently with an insurance broker to identify plans that will most benefit families with autism. To learn more or inquire about purchasing a policy, you can contact Lighthouse Insurance Manger, Michele Rohyans, at 574-387-4313 or micheler@lighthouseautismcenter.com.

When asked how Lighthouse can help families, Sandy Maggioli said, “We will help families find a policy that is right for them and even help them apply for grants to cover their out-of-pocket expenses. it is our goal to help families in any way we can, starting with the insurance process.”

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Shining Examples, Nina November 2016

nina

Nina has attended Lighthouse Autism Center since 2014 and has made incredible progress in her time here. So much so, that the Lighthouse clinical team has recommended she transition back to school full-time in January.

When Nina first began at Lighthouse Autism Center, she would ask for preferred items with only one-word sentences, making it very difficult for unfamiliar people to decipher what she was saying. Now, Nina uses five to seven word sentences and has drastically improved her articulation, resulting in overall better communication and understanding by others.

Nina’s mother expressed great appreciation for what LAC has done for Nina, saying “She looks at me, she holds me, she communicates with me and tells me what she is need of. She’s playful and she’s so funny. She has the personality, and this from my heart – I’m so happy for Nina. She deserves to have a bright future. She deserves to be happy and I have you to thank for that. You have given her guidance to find her voice, to share her thoughts, to be her true self.”

Furthermore, we continue to see Nina’s problem behaviors consistently decrease, specifically, with adapting to change. Prior to Lighthouse, Nina would have huge meltdowns, sometime lasting upwards of two hours, when dealing with change or work she did not want to do. Now, Nina will try new things including wearing different types or clothing, new foods, hairstyles and shoes. She no longer feels the need to bring all of her toys to school each day, and will consistently try new thing in her daily life!

Finally, Nina’s academic skills have also improved greatly. Nina can work independently for up to twenty-five minutes without a therapist’s assistance. We are so proud of her and excited for her to transition back to school!

At LAC, we are seeing incredible progress made by our learners every day.

Clinical Corner, November 2016

Genetic Research Could Lead to Earlier Autism Diagnosis

In an article published in Behavior Genetics, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negeg (BGU) say they’re closer to understanding the genetic basis of autism. The researchers found distinct characteristics in genes associated with autism that distinguish them from other brain-specific genes. They believe this will allow the identification of additional autism genes, leading to an earlier diagnosis of autism.

“We are now a step closer to understanding the genes associated with autism and understanding the biological process involved in the disease,” says Dr. idan Menashe, who along with his colleagues, Erez Tsur and Professor Michael Friger, is a member of the BGU Department of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

One particularly distinct characteristic of autism genes the researchers found is their exceptional genomic length, which is longer than other brain-expressed genes of closely related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

“Our findings suggest that ASD genes have evolved under complex evolutionary forces, which have left a unique signature that can be used to identify new ASD candidate genes,” the researchers add.

To read the full article, please visit sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161006102944.htm.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Heart of the Matter, November 2016

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and here at Lighthouse Autism Center we are already focused on how we’ll give back to our families, employees, and community.

giving-tree

Families:

In November, we will host our biannual “Parent’s Day Out” where Lighthouse Autism Center remains open on Saturday with staff who volunteer to give their time to our families. Parents are invited to drop off all of their children – and not just those who attend our center – and take the evening to do some holiday shopping, go to a movie, or simply relax. As a parent of a child with autism, I know how welcome and appreciated this is by our families.

Employees:

Employees will have the opportunity to participate in an all-staff Christmas Party at the Oaks. This allows employees from all of our centers to come together and enjoy a potluck dinner, music, games and prizes. After a year of hard work and dedication to our center and the children we serve, it’s our goal to recognize our employees and show them how appreciated they truly are.

Community:

Finally, we feel it is important to give back to our local community during the holiday season. We will continue our tradition of adopting several families in need and providing gifts and essentials for them through what we call our “Giving Tree.” Employees and families at all centers come together to purchase clothing, food, household items, toiletries, toys and gifts. We wrap and deliver these items to our adopted families in an effort to give back to those less fortunate.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential