New To Autism
You may suspect that there is something different about the way your child is developing. If this is the case, obtaining an accurate diagnosis is an important first step to finding help for your child. Don't wait, call the Autism Society of Wisconsin to help you find a provider who can perform a developmental evaluation.
The Autism Society of Wisconsin wants to help families new to the diagnosis find the information and resources that may be needed to help a loved one. Our Next Steps Booklet is a guide for families new to the diagnosis of autism. Listed below are other important first steps to accessing services for your child. The Autism Society has another publication you may find helpful titled After the Diagnosis.
Birth to 3
If a child is younger than 3, accessing Birth to 3 services is a good place to start. No matter where you live in Wisconsin, the county of residence is responsible for providing Birth to 3 services to eligible children and their families. Your county Birth to 3 professionals will work in partnership with you to:
Your county Birth to 3 professionals will work in partnership with you to identify outcomes for your child and family which will support your child's ability to grow, learn and communicate. For more information about services in your county, visit the Birth to 3 Program Primary Point of Referral page.
Each school district in Wisconsin is responsible for providing a continuum of Special Education and Related Services to Children with Disabilities and who need special education. Children are evaluated to determine if they met the one of the state's eligibility criteria. Special education and related services may provide consultation to staff, direct services to the child, training related to the disability, and other services that are identified in the child's Individualized Education Program.
Services such as intensive autism treatment, speech, physical and occupational therapy, and other therapies may be covered by insurance plans or Medical Assistance. Public and private insurers are included, but by federal law, self-funded (self-insured) plans are not. Families should check with their insurance providers to find out what services are covered by their specific benefit plans. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has prepared a FAQ document on the autism insurance mandate.
2016: A New Behavioral Treatment Benefit to be Provided Under Wisconsin Medicaid and Other FowardHealth Programs
In July 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directed states to provide coverage of autism treatment services as a regular statewide Medicaid benefit. In response, the Department of Health Services (DHS) is transitioning coverage of autism treatment services from the CLTS Waiver Program to a new behavioral treatment benefit under ForwardHealth. ForwardHealth includes BadgerCare Plus, Medicaid, and the Katie Beckett Program.
Issued December, 2, 2015
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