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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Obtain Insurance Coverage for Autism & More

I hope you are all doing well and I always encourage you to post your questions.........


Here is a wonderful resource to guide you through process of fighting a denial for coverage of autism services:

http://www.pathfindersforautism.org/resources/understanding-insurance/insurance-plan-coverage-and-types

Some time past, I promised to bring you information from a video series called "Autism Live".   This is last weeks episode.  Each show covers a variety topics, so it is definitely worth your time to watch.





This is one mother's journey to obtain services for her child and health coverage in Georgia.


Ava's Law






Friday, January 24, 2014

Special Care for Special Needs: Autism and Antidepressants

Special Care for Special Needs: Autism and Antidepressants: After my recent blog post, a reader asked what medications I was taking that affected my children's development.  I promised to provide...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Autism and Antidepressants

After my recent blog post, a reader asked what medications I was taking that affected my children's development.  I promised to provide additional information regarding the relationship of antidepressants and autism.  There is conflicting information and research relating to this topic.  Some researchers believe it is actually the predisposition to depression that is the true connection.   However, I am not fully convinced, but I will let you decide for yourself by providing the information  available. 

Keep in mind as you read, maybe the medications used in the study are a factor in the results.

Again,  it is my belief that there is no coincidence that if a brand name antidepressant shows a link to autism, then more than likely so does the generic.





Studies demonstrating a link ....

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/study-links-autism-with-antidepressant-use-during-pregnancy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/drug-injury/antidepressants-and-autism.php

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Autism/antidepressant-linked-autism-study/story?id=13989498

http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsArticle.aspx?articleid=1695386



Does not cause Autism....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/20/antidepressants-taken-during-pregnancy-dont-cause-autism-study_n_4480792.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_142851.html

http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/24/study-finds-antidepressants-in-pregnancy-not-tied-to-higher-autism-risk/62442.html


I was taking the generic form of Effexor, which I believe to have caused my son's autism.  Here is more information about it . 


This excerpt was found on the following website http://www.schmidtandclark.com/effexor, 

"Effexor and AutismA June 2011 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found a strong correlation between autism birth defects and antidepressants like Effexor. The study involved 298 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and found that women who took an SSRI antidepressant while pregnant were twice as likely to give birth to a child with an ASD than mothers who did not. The scientists who conducted the study have advised doctors and patients to carefully weigh the benefits vs. risks of taking antidepressants carefully before beginning a regiment.

Known Effexor Side Effects

  • Withdrawal
  • Birth Defects
  • Congenital Heart Defects, Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defects (hole in heart)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Abdominal Birth Defects / Omphalocele
  • Cranial Birth Defects / Craniosynostosis
I will continue to provide additional information on this topic in the near future.  Hope this helps!



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Special Care for Special Needs: GENERIC DRUGS HARM W/ NO MEANS OF VINDICATION UPDATED

Special Care for Special Needs: GENERIC DRUGS HARM W/ NO MEANS OF VINDICATION: Today I writing about something that I recently discovered and am personally outraged about as it affects my family personally. 8 out o...


Lifecycle from Brand Drug to Generic Drug




A video discussing how patients have no claim against generic drug manufacturers......




Saturday, January 18, 2014

GENERIC DRUGS HARM W/ NO MEANS OF VINDICATION



Today I writing about something that I recently discovered and am personally outraged about as it affects my family personally. 8 out of 10 prescription filled are generic drugs. This saves money for everyone, which is great.  A few years ago, a family member had some side effects resulting from a generic medication.  Fortunately, it was discovered before it became more severe.  My children were affected.  I will explain about it in more detail later.

Generic medication is produced for all types and classes of medication.

So how do generic drugs save money? The generic manufacturers do not perform research studies. They simply prove that their drug comprises a satisfactory amount of the active ingredient contained in the brand name drug.


This seems ok, right?? WRONG! Here's why......

Let me give you a little background......


According to Wikipedia, "prior to 1962, drugs were approved for efficacy only. In 1962, in the aftermath of the discovery that the use of a drug called thalidomide by pregnant women (mostly in Europe) had caused severe birth defects, Congress added a requirement - the Hatch-Waxman Act - that drug manufacturers also prove the safety of the products before FDA could approve them for marketing. Thus, under these amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, new drugs had to be proven safe and effective before they could be legally marketed. It is also important to note that for drugs approved prior to 1962, generic versions could be approved with a “paper” new drug application (NDA). The NDA was based solely on published scientific or medical literature. Therefore, a generic manufacturer could get its drug approved by presenting academic articles about the chemical demonstrating that it was safe. Despite this fact, it was found that in the years after 1962 there were 150 drugs that were off-patent, but for which there were no generics because generic companies simply would not spend the time and money doing the clinical trials to get to market, and that there were only fifteen “paper NDAs,” for post-1962 generics.[2]"

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"The Hatch-Waxman Act had a significant impact on the U.S. healthcare system in many respects. The primary being the robust generic drug industry that only began to flourish as a result of the policies enacted through the Act, and the patent term extensions or restorations that make up a very important part of the research based pharmaceutical industry. However, the act makes many assumptions that since being proved invalid or inappropriate have caused the act to come under scrutiny.



  • A major assumption within the Hatch-Waxman Act concerns the sameness of a generic drug to the pioneer. Currently the FDA’s method of determining similarity between drugs is through a comparison of the bioavailability, the amount of active ingredient in the blood over a period of time. The FDA holds that if the proposed generic comes within plus-or-minus twenty percent of the bioavailability of the pioneer drug, then the drugs are sufficiently similar. Similarly many medical professionals believe twenty percent is a fairly good margin in many cases, however, there are instances with drugs where there is a very narrow therapeutic band where plus-or-minus twenty percent may not be appropriate and in fact dangerous. The FDA has not altered this particular aspect of the regulation, despite the advances in modern pharmaceutics which would allow these standards to be tightened.


  • A second assumption was that establishing similarity, as described above, is an effective substitute for the previous safety and efficacy requirements. Therefore, the ANDA drug does not have to undergo the same extensive testing as the pioneer drug.



  • Another assumption was that drugs that were under FDA review during the time the Act was passed would be approved shortly after the Act’s enactment, and that two-year extensions were adequate. However this was not the case, in fact there was one famous case where the drug was not approved for eight years. In addition to making this it was also assumed that five years of extension and fourteen years of market exclusivity were sufficient to stimulate research and development within the research based drug industry.


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    So amendments keep being made to improve the FDA guidelines, but patients are still being hurt.......HOW????? What about the percentages that are dangerous and the PUBLIC does not know. The drug classifications seems ok, but THEY ARE NOT, NOR is there a requirement to report cases where HARM has been done to patients......LABELING for generic medications only have to match that of the BRAND drug........

    BOTTOMLINE - PEOPLE ARE BEING HARMED EVERYDAY BY GENERIC DRUGS AND THERE ARE NO REPORTS unless a lawsuit is filed. BETTER YET - You can file a lawsuit, but the BRAND is not responsible and the GENERICS are not responsible because they are within federal guidelines. Ok so let's change the laws, we tried and we were overruled by the Supreme Court 5-4 to change the labeling to protect the consumer back in November of 2013. So, we can't protect the consumer.... can we get retribution ... THE ANSWER IS NO.....Can't sue the BRAND, it is NOT their drug ingested by the patient..... it is the GENERIC.....

    Generic Manufacturers are protected because the government does not require studies to be conducted on generic drugs. This is what keeps the generic drug cost down. GUESS WHO is the MAJOR PURCHASER of generic drugs - THE GOVERNMENT. And, the final nail in the coffin comes from the insurance companies who require us to purchase the generic drugs. There are commercials everyday detailing the harmful effects of these drugs and the potential lawsuits. One might not even realize that these lawsuits do not include generic medications. All of the available loopholes make it easy for lawsuits to be denied. 



    DENIALS:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/business/24bizcourt.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1390071818-0DvAcx1eVGWSO9V0ABoaxw

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/business/justices-rule-generic-makers-not-liable-for-drugs-design.html?_r=0

    In 2009,  guest bloggers of  http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2009/11/scorecard-non-manufacturer-name-brand.html said,

    "  For those keeping score, this makes 31 courts in 19 states that have refused to impose liability on a brand name drug manufacturer for injuries caused by its competitors’ generic drugs." 

    WHYYYYY? They misinformed the public and relayed the same information to the generic companies who are forced to provide the same labeling (information, i.e. side effects) by the FDA.  The truth is it is the fault of the Brand Manufacturer.  Is it a coincidence that the cases about "undue harm" against the drug creators relate to the same damages as the generic drugs?




    CASES THAT THE PLAINTIFF WON!

    In a recent NY Times article, a man was awarded the opportunity to sue the  original brand manufacturer.....http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/business/court-says-pfizer-can-be-sued-by-man-who-took-generic.html

     "In the Alabama case, the plaintiff, Danny Weeks, claimed that he had developed a movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia after taking generic versions of Reglan to treat his acid reflux. Mr. Weeks sued Actavis and Teva, the generic companies that made the drugs he took, as well as Wyeth, which developed the drug, for failing to adequately warn about Reglan’s risks........

    .......The court ruled that Mr. Weeks could go ahead with his lawsuit based on what Mr. Newsom described as a “unique wrinkle” in Alabama state law: that third parties like Wyeth can be held liable for a person’s injury if that third party provided false or misleading information that led to the injury. Mr. Weeks is arguing that Wyeth misinformed his doctor, not Mr. Weeks himself.........

    .....Chris Hood, a lawyer for Mr. Weeks, said, “When someone’s hurt by a generic tablet and that injury can be laid at the feet of misinformation about the drug, then there’s only one party who can be held responsible,” he said, “the branded company.” Let's all hope that each state has a "wrinkle in the law" that allows Big Pharma to be held accountable. 

    Two of my children have been affected by two different generic anti-depressants.  One son was born with multiple birth defects and has undergone numerous surgeries and will have a few more in the future.  My other son is autistic as a result.  Why should my children struggle and suffer and no one be held accountable?  

    In my quest for justice, I found out that it is difficult to hold the generic manufacturer liable for the harm that these drugs do to unknowing patients.  When I found out I was pregnant, I stopped taking any medication.  But at 10 weeks gestation, it was too late.  I asked my doctor to check the medication and tell me if it was safe to take during pregnancy.  Based on the classification at the time, both drugs were safe,  but they were not.  A letter was sent to doctors after my son was born warning of the side effects.  The classifications have since changed to protect patients.   Now patients can be better informed prior to taking the medications.   


    Generic drug manufacturer employee blows the whistle on FDA requirements that were skipped....... November 2013



    But what happens to all of the children born with disabilities as a result?  Who pays for the therapies and medication?  It should be Big Pharma!



    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Affordable Care Act and Autism Legislation






    Effective January 1, 2014, the following states do not require insurers to cover additional autism services that are in excess of the coverage outlined under the Affordable Care Act program: Arkansas, Michigan, Vermont and Virginia.  


    The legislation reads accordingly,

    "The law specifies that on or after January 1, 2014, to the extent that these provisions require benefits that exceed the essential health benefits specified under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the benefits that exceed the essential health benefits shall not be required of a health benefit plan when the plan is offered by a health care insurer in the state through the state medical exchange."




    I have to be honest when I say that nothing brings me more joy (except my children, of course) than when big insurance companies are finally made to pay up after denying coverage to people in need.
    So with a big smile on my face I pass on this information about Kaiser Permanente in California.  This insurer was ordered to pay 9 million dollars for the monies that families paid to obtain speech services for their children.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/08/08/kaiser-to-pay-9m-to-settle-autism-suit.html

    Now, this was a class action lawsuit.  However, if this lawsuit is closed, you may still be able to sue on your own.  It is always worth consulting an attorney.





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    All across America, large and small insurance companies continue to deny coverage for autism services.   Some insurers have lost a few lawsuits and have decided it would be too costly to continue denying therapeutic services that can mean the difference between a mainstream education and a special education for a child on the spectrum.  However, why do we continue to hear about the parents repeatedly fighting for coverage?  Part of the reason lies in the fact that if a class action lawsuit is not filed and lost, some insurers are willing to take a chance on denying the coverage on a case by case basis.  They rely on the probability that parents will simply give up the fight, which more often than not is the case.  

    As recent as Decenber 2013,  Providence Health Plan, a Catholic insurer, is fighting a class action status filing on the basis that they do not cover developmental disabilities, and of course, autism is the third largest developmental disability according to the CDC.  Previously, Providence tried to deny coverage stating the Applied Behavior Analysis was an experimental treatment, which has time and again been proven to not be true.  






    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Affordable Care Act & Autism


    For anyone participating in the Affordable Care Act, Autism Speaks has a document highlighting the benefits for autistic children and adults.

    http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/docs/gr/aca_community_f.pdf

    Be aware that state law still supersedes some of the legislation of Obamacare.  As a result, some coverage for services like ABA may not be covered.


    The video below highlights the benefits of the program and one families experience so far.....
    The next video goes into more details and discusses its relationship to California state law.















    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Denial, Denial, Denial - Cigna settlement

    Judge Approves $2.4M Cigna Autism Denial Class Action Settlement


    Hello All......I found a new spin on why insurance denies claims for Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for the treatment of Autism.   In a class action lawsuit settled in November of 2013,  the plaintiff Kristopher Churchill of Pennsylvania claimed that the services were denied by Cigna as the treatment was considered experimental for autism.  

    "The $2.4 million class action settlement fund will compensate an estimated 350 to 400 Class Members. A final approval hearing has been set for Feb. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    The Cigna ABA Denial Class Action Lawsuit is Churchill, et al. v. Cigna Corp., et al., Case No. 2:10-cv-06911, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania."


    The first step to fighting the insurance company is to obtain a copy of the insurance contract between your organization and the insurer.  This is where you will find their loopholes.  



    There is a great article from the NYTimes called, "A Health Insurance Insider Offers Words of Advice" By Walencia Konrad Published: February 18, 2011.  It is about the experiences of Wendall Potter, who wrote "Deadly Spins", which was a book about the behind-the-scenes discussion at large insurance carriers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/health/19patient.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    In a related article about Mr. Potter, an excerpt about his book reads,

    "The most moving section is devoted to Nataline Sarkisyan. We learn that executives at Cigna worried that Nataline’s situation would only add fire to the growing public discontent with a health care system anchored by private insurance. As the case drew more national attention, the threat of a legislative overhaul that would ban for-profit insurers became real, and Mr. Potter found himself working on the biggest P.R. campaign of his career."

    If this book doesn't move you to fight for change and rights, nothing will......

    Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans



    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    New Year - New Knowledge


    It's a new year.......what is your goal going to be?? Become a better advocate, become more involved in a cause that is important to you??? That is my goal, not quite a resolution....I believe I am only fooling myself with a resolution....it would be easier for me to break...LOL.

    As part of my goal, I will be helping you become a better advocate for your child, a friend's child or simply a special someone who has entered your life. 

    So your first step is to help me - help you:)  Ask me anything,  let's call it a Dear G. letter.....

    "Dear G.,

    I NEED HELP.....
    I NEED TO RANT ....
    PLEASE HELP MY....
    WHERE CAN I BUY....
    WHO DO I CALL FOR......"

    Call me a people-pleaser.... I want my readers to share their special moments, sad times, frustrations, you name it.......if you are part of the life of a special child,  you know what I mean.

                           

    The following video is about Jenny McCarthy and her autistic son.......tell me... do you believe that she has "cured" him.  Is it really possible for a child to no longer be autistic?





    The start of the new year is always a good time to see what changes have been made in legislation and the guide to the left is a great resource to help you do just that. I would like to open up a discussion about your experiences positive or negative about obtaining services for your child through insurance. In the future, I will begin a session about obtaining services through early intervention and the school district.    


    Let's begin our discussion TODAY! Part of the reason I am focusing on insurance and funding is that many children are denied coverage by the state for the early intervention plan program. However, as a parent, you may know that your child needs help, even if they are not classified as having autism. Your pediatrician may agree and provide you with a prescription for services, but your insurance refuses to cover it.
    This is the essence of the core issue.
    With this understanding, I hope to hear from more of you on this very hot topic.

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Autism Funding/Insurance Video



    In continuing with my theme of autism, insurance and funding,  I wanted to share a video clip that discusses the basics about this issue and where to begin.   It is from a series on Youtube from AutismLive.  If you go onto youtube.com, you can search for AutismLive.   There is an option to subscribe to the series of videos, which covers everything from education to insurance to diet.  However, if you choose not to do so, I will be providing highlights from the series as they develop.

    I truly value your comments and if you have a question, please post it and I will help you.  Chances are, if you need answers, so do many other readers.  My mission to help everyone and pay it forward.

    My life has been blessed by so many caring, giving individuals, who have helped my special needs boys grow and develop.  Each day I am forever grateful!


    Questions:
      




    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Oregon - Insurance Autism Denial

    Applied Behavior Analysis, previously known as behavior modification, is the application of behaviorism that modifies human behaviors, especially as part of a learning or treatment process.  It is the only research-based proven therapy for the treatment of autism. However, each day, a parent is given the news that their insurance company with not cover the treatment.  In Oregon, a parent received this news despite the law, which states that this form of treatment should be covered. 

    The law for autism is as follows:

    Oregon
    Or. Rev. Stat. § 743A.190 (2007 Or. Laws, Chap. 872; HB 2918)
    Requires specified health benefit plans to provide coverage for an enrolled child less than 18 years of age who is diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder or autism all medical services, including medical and rehabilitative services, that are medically necessary and are otherwise covered under the plan. Rehabilitative services include physical, occupational or speech therapy services to restore or improve function.

    More about this story can be found by clicking the link below......

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    Autism Approved Legislation/Insurance Denials


    I wanted to spend some time reviewing the laws relating to autism and their real world application.  What happens when a doctor refers a child for therapy that is critical to their social and emotional development and learning?  Will the cost for these services be covered by insurance? 

    The answer is tricky and sometimes shocking.  Each state has their own laws applying to coverage of medical services for autism.  Some states do not require insurance companies to cover any services.  Also, a state may cover services, but there may be little loopholes that the public is unaware of thereby allowing insurance companies to deny the services. 

    In New York State,  behavioral therapies are required to be covered.  However, prior to the passing of the legislation, an addendum was made that required applied behavior analysts to have a license in order for the therapy to be covered by insurance.  Guess what?  There is no licensure available in New York State for ABA therapists.   


    Watch what happens when a couple find themselves in a similar situation, click below......

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/investigations/video/I-Team:-Autistic-Kids-Denied-Insurance-Coverage/199640961


    Here is a link to the Autism insurance laws across the United States........ 

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/autism-and-insurance-coverage-state-laws.aspx


    Comments:

    Monday, December 30, 2013

    Autistic children deported??????


    With most of the world considering autism to be an epidemic, how a child can be deported as a result of this diagnosis is incomprehensible? Where is the compassion??!

    http://rt.com/news/australia-immigrant-autism-deportation-247/


    Comments:




    MONEY! - Autism Funding for Therapy






    Families struggle everyday with how they will pay for therapy, medical supplies, orthotics etc. It is not always easy to find a program that provides funding for these necessities. As a result, many children are not able to receive the adequate services they need to help them flourish. If there is a program, often times, the program is cancelled due to budget cuts.

    To help my readers, I always search for ways to obtain finding funding. Below is a list of programs that you may find helpful.

    Good Luck!


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    ACT Today! Grant
    ACT Today! is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to raise awareness and provide treatment services and support to families to help their children with autism achieve their full potential.

    Grant Program
    The ACT Today! board distributes grants quarterly each year. To apply for a grant, please use the following timeline:
    Quarter -- Applications acceptance dates -- Notification date
    1st quarter -- Jan. 1-30 -- March 15th
    2nd quarter -- April 1-30 -- June 15th
    3rd quarter -- July 1-31 -- September 30th
    4th quarter -- October 1-31 -- December 15th

    Each grant submission will be reviewed in 2 subsequent board reviews. Letters are sent via US Mail to all applicants by the date listed below notifying individuals of their grant status.

    ACT Today! requires each grant recipient to complete a short questionnaire 3 months and 6 months after receiving their grant. This may be done via email or US Mail. The questionnaires are valuable tools for the organization’s internal goal and policy making.

    Download the Grant Application
    To download the ACT Today! Grant Application, please click here.

    FAQs
    Please click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the grant application and process.

    Autism Care and Treatment Today!
    19019 Ventura Blvd, Ste. 200
    Tarzana, CA 91356
    1-877-9ACT-TODAY (1-877-922-8863)
    www.act-today.org
    Email: info@Act-Today.org

    Asperger Association of New England Family Grant Programs
    Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome could benefit greatly from services and programs which can incur significant financial expense for the average family. AANE has the pleasure of providing easy access to financial assistance for families WHO LIVE IN NEW ENGLAND and need a little help paying for these services.

    The Phillips Foundation:
    +Families living in Plymouth County only

    +Grants between $50 and $1000

    +No income cut-offs, but intended for low to moderate income households

    For more information or to obtain applications, visit www.aane.org or call 617-393-3824. 85 Main St., Suite 101, Watertown, MA 02472.

    Angel Autism Network
    Families living in Wisconsin may apply for up to $500 per year in support of medical treatments for their child with an autism spectrum disorder. Funds from the grant go directly to the medical provider (and not to the family).

    Grants will be given on a quarterly basis and will be issued in the months of March, June, September and December; once your application is reviewed, you will be contacted regarding the grant status.

    Grants will only be accepted:

    Jan. 1st to Feb. 1st 1st quarter (Jan, Feb, March)
    Apr. 1st to May 1st 2nd quarter (April, May, June)
    July 1st to Aug. 1st 3rd quarter (July, Aug, Sept)
    Oct. 1st to Nov. 1st 4th quarter (Oct, Nov, Dec)

    Autism Cares
    Autism Cares helps families affected by autism to cover costs associated with critical living expenses such as; housing, utilities, car repair, daycare, funeral expenses, and other essential items on a case-by-case basis.

    Families must complete an online application and identify vendor(s) to be covered by the award. Support awards cannot exceed a total of $1,500 per family.

    Eligible families have a child (children) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, an income of $65,000 or less, and experienced one or more qualifying events in the previous 90 days. Qualifying events are:

    +Natural disaster: fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, severe storm or earthquake
    +Death or critical illness in the nuclear family
    +Victim of a violent crime
    +Loss of home through foreclosure, eviction or natural disaster
    +Termination of employment for the primary income-earner within previous 90 days.




    Autism Family Resources Grant
    One-time $500 grants are awarded to families in financial need; household income may not exceed annual income cannot exceed $50,000 per year. All funds awarded are paid directly to the vendor or service provider to pay for therapy equipment, safety equipment or services.

    Email your request for an application along with your name, address, phone number and email address to us at info@autismfamilyresources.org .

    We will email the application file back to you.

    Family First – National Autism Association
    The divorce rate within the autism community has been creeping up for quite some time. With the explosion in autism cases comes many more challenges with couples in our community. Family First was launched to provide couples within our community a way to access counseling.

    GOALS:
    The four goals of the Family First Program are to:

    1. Provide couples with access to counseling
    2. Provide couples with financial aid for counseling
    3. Raise awareness about the divorce rates within our community and around the country
    4. Provide a solid support system for all autism couples

    By focusing on these four objectives, our primary goal is to keep autism families together, which will open the door to a slew of other benefits for families including two-person income potential, less stress on just one parent, more time dedicated to therapy and treatments for the child, and the list goes on.
    Maximum amount we can award per couple is a one-time grant of $500.


    The Autism Grant
    The Autism Grant is a tuition scholarship for financially disadvantaged children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment, between the ages of 2 to 5, is crucial to making a long-term impact on a child’s ability to achieve his or her full potential.

    The Autism Grant provides full or partial tuition scholarships to the Dominion School for Autism located in Richmond, Virginia. The Dominion School for Autism is a 501(c)(3) public charity. The Autism Grant accepts all sizes of donations to help children in need.

    Autism Help Network
    The Autism Help Network offers grants and scholarships to families who are experiencing financial difficulty in obtaining schooling, therapy, medical and biomedical treatment. Our grants are funded by our sponsors and are offered on a quarterly basis.

    Scholarships: The Autism Help Network Scholarship Program is for helping families obtain autism specific schooling, extended school year programs, or private schools developing autism programs; grants are up to $1,000 to provide therapy and non-experimental biomedical treatments to children who have autism.


    These grants are given on a once a year basis. The deadline for applications is July 1st of each year in order to be granted in time for the upcoming school year in September. The typical turn around time from application to decision is 45 days.


    Restrictions: The child must have a diagnosis of ASD and be of school age. Reason for seeking private schooling must be explained and income qualification is less than $45,000 per year for the entire household.

    Financial Grants: The Autism Help Network works to provide families with grants for various purposes, such as Therapy costs, Medical treatments, and Bio-Medical treatments. These grants are provided by the fundraising efforts of AHN and a partial contribution from the advertising dollars from the Autism Globe magazine.

    Grant applications are accepted year round with no deadline. You can download the application by clicking the link at the top of this page. Grants are funded quarterly throughout the year and are determined by the funding available.

    Restrictions: Proof of ASD diagnosis from medical professional. Income level under $55,000 per year for entire household. Other restrictions may apply.





    Autism Society of Connecticut
    ASCONN provides a grant program for families and persons with autism spectrum disorders.

    Grants will be accepted for up to $1,000 per grant for parents, family members, persons with autism or anyone working with persons on the autism spectrum.

    Funds must be used to purchase items or services that directly relate to the safety and security of persons with autism or their families within Connecticut.
    Download the grant application, or email us or call 888-453-4975 to be sent an application.

    Autism Support Daily
    This organization uses donor funds to provide financial assistance, support, guidance, recreational activities and educational training to families and friends of children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder living in the state of Vermont.
    Grants total no more than $400 per family.

    The Bubel Aiken Foundation
    Financial Assistance for Child Participation in Approved Inclusive Programs

    Funding Limit: $1,000/yr
    Project Period: up to 12 months

    Financial assistance for a child to participate in approved inclusive programs. The program must be approved by The Bubel/Aiken Foundation. Any funding dispensed will be given through the approved program or organization. Families with a combined household income of less than $75,000 are eligible to apply. Upon submission, the Foundation will contact the desired program to determine if the program will successfully include the child in order to designate them as an approved program.

    Grantees will be eligible for support for a maximum of two years. An application will be required each year.

    Let’s ALL Play—Inclusion in Recreational Programs

    Funding Limit: $20,000/yr
    Project Period: up to 12 months

    Let’s ALL Play is a program model for recreational programs that are currently serving children with special needs and wish to do it better or programs seeking to open doors currently shut to children with special needs in their community. The Foundation looks to partner with programs who are looking to do one or more of the following:

    o Implement the Foundation’s Let’s ALL Play Program
    o Partner with the Foundation in training staff in how to serve children with special needs successfully in an inclusive setting
    o Provide scholarships for children with special needs who otherwise could not participate due to financial need

    Grantees will be eligible for support for a maximum of three years. An application will be required each year. Read more about Let’s ALL Play by clicking here.

    Inclusive Recreational and Learning Experiences promoting Awareness, Education, and Health

    Funding Limit: $20,000/yr
    Project Period: up to 12 months

    Inclusive Recreational and Learning Experiences promoting Awareness, Education, and Health should be designed to deliver new or improved services to demonstrate successful and increased inclusion outcomes for children with special needs in the following areas:

    o Development of inclusion/integration curricula, primarily K-12
    o Service learning opportunities and program development, training, and implementation
    o Development, training, and implementation for recreational programs
    o Inclusion strategies for minority populations
    o Promotion of health benefits for children with special needs in inclusive settings

    Grantees will be eligible for support for a maximum of three years. An application will be required each year.




    The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation
    The mission of DJF is to award grants to programs that benefit adolescents and adults with Autism. Each year, the DJF Board of Trustees receives proposals from organizations throughout the United States and abroad seeking grant support for programs benefiting adolescents and adults that may involve vocational, educational, residential, recreational or family related endeavors. In each calendar year, the DJF Board of Trustees will determine, at their sole discretion, the number, dollar amount and type (s) of grants to be awarded. Generally, these decisions are based on the quality of the proposals received and the feasibility of implementation by the prospective grantees.

    Additional factors considered include the potential for program replication in other communities and the originality of the proposed program. Importantly, however, the determination is not limited to any of the factors stated above.

    The Doug Flutie Foundation
    The Doug Flutie Foundation makes grants to IRS approved 501 c (3) organizations and qualified schools and organizations that support families living with autism. The foundation gives only in New England, New York, New Jersey, parts of Canada and California.

    The average grant size will be in the $10,000-$20,000 range. Please do not request more than $20,000. Requests for endowments or multi-year grants will not be accepted, and grant recipients must re-apply each year.

    866-3AUTISM or 508-270-1855, Framingham, MA. www.dougflutiejrfoundation.org

    Easter Seals
    Easter Seals provides in home services and supports for adults who have severe physical or cognitive impairments. Adults with autism are eligible for services, including companionship/respite, homemaker/housekeeping, therapy, health services and personal care. In home care services that preserve dignity and self-esteem as well as promote increased independence are offered. Services provided include bathing, dressing, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, transportation and shopping. View the Easter Seals directory to locate a provider.

    Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program
    The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program provides eligible special education students with the opportunity to attend private schools or public schools other than the one they would normally be required to attend. To qualify, students’ parents must be current residents of Georgia who have resided in the state for at least one calendar year, and students must have an IEP and have attended a Georgia K-12 public school the prior school year. Students who have autism are eligible to participate in the scholarship program.

    Helping Hand Program – National Autism Association
    The Helping Hand Program provides families with financial assistance in getting necessary biomedical treatments, supplements and therapy services for their autistic child. Do not apply for this grant if you are seeking funds for respite care, fencing, trampolines, swingsets, trips to Disney World, etc. Your child must meet all three basic criteria to apply:

    1. Birth to age 18
    2. Reside in the United States of America.
    3. Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

    All grants awarded are paid directly to the vendor or service provider to pay for tuition, supplements/medication, medical evaluation or testing, therapies, etc. The maximum amount we can award per child is a one-time grant of $1,500.

    NeighborHeart Quality of Life Grants

    Through our Quality of Life Grant program, families that care for children and adults with autism and other special needs may receive funding to offset their enormous financial burdens. These grants provide families with stipends that may be used for a wide variety of supports related to their family member.
    In order for an application to be considered for a Quality of Life Grant, an applicant must:

    +Have an individual with a diagnosed developmental disorder or disability living at home.
    +Have a family income of less than $30,000 per year (see below).
    +Live in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States (i.e., Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York only).

    The $500 grants can be used for anything that improves the family’s quality of life, including therapy, medical treatment and travel, respite care, educational advocacy services, training fees and security improvements.

    United Healthcare Children's Foundation
    The UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity dedicated to facilitating access to medical-related services that have the potential to significantly enhance either the clinical condition or the quality of life of the child and that are not fully covered by the available commercial health benefit plan. This “support” is in the form of a medical grant to be used for medical services not covered or not completely covered by commercial health benefit plans. Medical grants are up to $5,000 and can vary in size.

    Bridge the Gap, Inc.
    Persons having or directly supporting a person with an ASD will be eligible for grant consideration. Shawano County residents will be given first considerations for available funds. Funding left over will be allotted to individuals residing in other counties in Wisconsin, must be a Wisconsin resident. Grants will be given out on a quarterly basis and will be issued in the months of March, June, September and December.

    Source: http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/resources/autism-grants-united-states

    Check out these books to find additional money resources to help you financially with your autistic child........











    Sunday, December 29, 2013

    Disability lawsuit in NYC





    So today I come across an article about a class action lawsuit that had been filed in 2011. In the article, it states that the NYC taxi and limousine commission was being sued on the basis of the  limited number of taxis with wheelchair accessibility.  This was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  An agreement was
    made that over a period of six years, the commission would increase the number of wheelchair accessible medallions to equal 50% of its fleet.

    While this appears to be a win for the disabled, the model van Nissan NV200 is not currently wheelchair accessible, which has disappointed disability advocates. 

    It continues to amazes how such decisions are made...... Why was this model be chosen, if it will cost taxpayer monies to remodel it to meet specifications? Is there is no more suitable model?  

    Also, there are other issues relating to accessibility in the trains and subway stations. Do we need to wait 6 years to see results for this taxi program, which would be the easiest mode of transportation and commuting about the city?

    I need to hear your thoughts.....
    Be Well!





    Comments:



    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    New Autism Gene Research

    While many of you may already be aware is this new research, I wanted to raise a bit of awareness to the possibility that there is a genetic component to autism.
    In October of 2013, a study was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics about gene deletion in individuals with autism. Joseph Buxbaum, a professor of psychiatry, genetics and genomic sciences and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who spearheaded this study, indicated that "such gene deletions may cause brain neurons to be miswired and behave differently, the study found, increasing chances that a person will develop autism."
    The study was comprised of 431 individuals with autism and 379 people without the developmental disorder. The finding included 803 gene deletions in those on the spectrum and 583 in the control group. Therefore, those with autism were more likely to have multiple small deletions. It was concluded that some of the extra deletions seen in individuals with autism may be contributing to the disorder.

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