Many Young Adults With Autism Also Have Mental Health Issues

Date: Aug 20, 2017

Young adults on the autism spectrum are more likely to also have been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, such as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than are typically developing people or those with other developmental disabilities, a study finds.

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FVDD News President’s Message - February 2017

Date: Apr 06, 2017

As we have seen in the very unique 2016-2017 presidential campaign. it is critically apparent that individuals who would like to effect change stay informed and active!)' participate in the legislative process. As the saying goes, "If you do not vote, don't complain."

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New Lawsuit About The Medicaid Waiver

Date: Oct 19, 2015

Disability Rights Florida, Southern Legal Counsel and I have filed an ADA action against AHCA....

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News Archive

One in Five Families with Children Has at Least One Child with Special Health Care Needs

Family Voices Public Awareness Campaign  
 
Make a Difference Did you know that more than one in five families has at least one child with special health care needs (SHCN) - 23% of families? Families of children/youth with SHCN typically experience greater stress, struggling to meet the needs of their child in a maze of multiple and complex systems of care. Many families find that insurance is not adequate, care coordination is ineffective, and referrals are difficult.
Across the country families of SHCN get help from health care financing programs, community…

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FND Family Star Program Has Been Refunded

Family Network on Disabilities is proud to announce our Family Star program has been refunded for another 4 years to continue to serve families who have kids with special needs focused on the health care issues.

FND is the Family Voices chapter here in Florida, if you would like to see other chapters please click here visit the Family Voices website.

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act funds support Family-to-Family Health Information Centers in all 50 states and District of Columbia

"Family-to-Family Health Information Centers served nearly one million families of children with special…

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Wellington The Magazine spotlights Hope 4 Mobility

Wellington-Based Hope 4 Mobility Provides Equipment For People With Specials Needs

Click Here to read their article ‘Wellington Gives’ in this issue of Wellington the Magazine.

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The Joy’s of Camp Kehilla

To the Wonderful Supporters of the JAFCO Children’s Ability Center,

We hope that you are having a great summer! We thrilled to share with you an email from John Kabot, our Behavioral Specialist and Camp Director regarding our incredible Camp Kehilla here at the JAFCO Children’s Ability Center.  This unique camping experience for children with developmental disabilities offers children an on-site, true day camp experience with an overnight option for additional respite.   This dream for families could not have been possible without your love and support.  Please read below, a glimpse into Week 1, with our thanks.

                                               

End…

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ABLE Act of 2014

On December 19, 2014, the President signed into law the Tax Increase Preention Act of 2014. This legislation includes the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014  (ABLE Act). This act provides a new type of tax-advantage account for disabled persons under 529 Plan. 

The law establishes a new section under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code to be 529A, which applies for tax years beginning after December 31, 2014. However, what needs to be understood is that the signing of this law remains at the federal level. Individual states still need to propose legislation, which will not be finalized…

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Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program Legislative Update

The Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism passed Senate Bill 1246, Individuals with Disabilities, which creates the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program to recognize business entities that employ individuals who have a disability. The program will also recognize businesses which contribute to organizations or establish a program that support the independence of individuals who have a disability. Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and CareerSource Florida are tasked to work with state agencies in creating the program, developing a logo for the program, and maintaining a website to provide the public a list of businesses who have received the designation. Like…

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Autism Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Approved for Medicaid

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) for those with autism is no longer considered experimental thanks to the legal victory in Garrido v. Dude. Autistic children now have access to a rehabilitative therapy treatment that has shown to improve their quality of life. Until now, children with autism in the state of Florida were denied coverage for ABA.  “It's the only evidence-based treatment found to significantly improve these children's ability to function and communicate with their parents. Yet Medicaid denied reimbursement for any form of behavioral treatment of autism.”

The success of this litigation was based on proving that ABA was “rehabilitative,…

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Notice of Proposed Rules of the iBudget

This information was provide to Florida's Voice by Autism Society of America State of Florida Affiliate

As you know, Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has recently introduced a new set of APD “iBudget” rules for allocating DD waiver funds to clients. What APD has introduced is remarkably similar to the rules stricken as invalid and contrary to Florida law in the case of G.B., et al. v. APD.  

In the G.B. case, APD was told by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal that it failed to adopt the reliable, accurate and objective allocation system required by Florida…

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Step Up For Students: Developmental Disabled Scholarship Opportunity

The Special Needs Scholarship is a tax-credited scholarship program developed out of the Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PSLA) through Step Up For Students. The organization, Step Up For Students, is a Florida-based program providing Tax Credit Scholarships for students in grades K-12 whom live in or around poverty-stricken communities. 

According to Step Up, the Special Needs Scholarship is unlike any other PSLA distributed scholarship, in that it provides a flexible spending allowance. 

“[The scholarship] allows parents to personalize the education of their children with unique abilities by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers,” as stated on…

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Special Needs Planning For Any Age

“Special needs planning” by attorneys usually implies legal work performed on behalf of a person with special needs, e.g., developmental disabilities (intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, or Prader-Willi syndrome). But “special needs” also entails legal work for any person in need of special planning due to infirmities of the aged, mental health illness, or other serious medical disabilities. And such planning is for everyone because we never know when a serious injury or illness may befall us.

Most of the planning is intended to avoid guardianship, remain (or become) eligible for means tested public benefits, and possibly avoid the costs of subsequent probate administration. When my…

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You Are A Crucial member of Your Child’s Educational Team

Families of students with disabilities must always remember that they are a critical member of their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan team. Family members have the greatest expertise on their child and often know, from experience at home, what interventions will really work. In order to convey that knowledge more effectively, it helps to do a little extra homework before meeting with the team at school.

Find out as much as you can about your child’s disability(ies) through research online, at the library, and speaking with the child’s doctors and service providers. Study how the disability can…

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Health Care Surrogate Designations And Living Wills

The State of Florida recognizes your fundamental right to make decisions concerning your health, including the right to choose or refuse medical treatment. This right can be preserved in the event of your incapacity by creating documents which state your wishes concerning your healthcare and also designate individuals who will direct the course of your treatment when you are unable to do so yourself.  By creating a Health Care Surrogate Designation and a Living Will, you will be completing essential aspects of your estate plan by ensuring that your healthcare wishes are clearly expressed and understood, and by providing guidance…

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Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts (SNT’s) come in several varieties.  The primary purpose of all SNT’s is to hold assets for a beneficiary while exempting the contents of the SNT for programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), subsidized housing, food assistance and some other public benefits.  Many of these programs have limitations on the value of assets the individual can have and still receive benefits.  Using the “technical terms,” there are d4A, d4B and d4C Special Needs Trusts and there are 1st Party SNT’s and 3rd Party SNT’s…so we only left out the “2.”

  1. The first category of SNT’s consists…

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Public Benefits in a Nutshell

Public benefits are basically two types: financial means tested or non-financial means tested.

Non-Financial Means Tested Public Benefits

If you become unable to work because you become disabled, and if you meet certain ork history & disability requirements, you can apply for SSA disability (SSDI) payments. Later, you receive Medicare health insurance. You could be Bill Gates of Microsoft, who suddenly is physically or mentally unable to work. He could apply for SSDI, and he would also receive Medicare young. How much you receive is based on your work history. There is no financial eligibility. Think of SSDI as your retirement paid young (+ Medicare). See:

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