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programs have not been obligated to provide services to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Eligibility for MR services is determined by a tested IQ score of less than 70. Even when persons with autism are deemed eligible, the services are defined for persons with cognitive disabilities and have not always appropriate for persons with autism. The one exception is the Autism Pilot Project in southeastern Pennsylvania which serves 24 individuals with autism-specific supports, enabling them to live and work in the community. The Bureau is working to address these systems issues.

Maryland supports one program that is specific to adults with autism, Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC). Services include employment, residential, day habitation programs, individual support, and family support.  Approximately 250-300 people are currently being served.  Funding sources include: Developmental Disabilities Administration, Maryland State Department of Education, Autism Waiver, and privately paying adults and/or families.  Other adults are served through traditional DD programs as well. Maryland considers autism to be the responsibility of the Department of Education which implies few resources or programs for adults.  Adult providers advise that they use money earmarked for residential placement to support day or employment supports.

New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the nation (1 in 95). In 2007 the legislature funded $5 million to increase services to people with autism. Of this, $3 million is to increase services to 62 adults with autism. Other new or expanded programs include increased respite care and family support, an autism registry, and medical services. Like Connecticut, New Jersey is calling for an Asperger’s Pilot Initiative to provide vocational, educational, and social service training to individuals with Asperger


Other States

Connecticut passed legislation to start a pilot program for adults with autism and Asperger’s in 2006, requiring their Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) to provide a coordinated system of supports and services for up to 50 adults with autism spectrum disorders who are not eligible for DMR services. This $1 million pilot includes support coordination, supported employment, supported living and transportation with an annual cost per person varying from $15,000 - $30,000. They are also researching possible funding streams for the development and implementation of services for adults with autism spectrum disorders without mental retardation.

New York’s Executive Budget recommendations for the ’08-09 fiscal year include increasing family supports for individuals with autism and other challenging behavior and launching an Autism Treatment Research Laboratory within the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. Their research is intended to enhance services provided in new group homes being developed and with future treatment and service practices for children and adults.  It is interesting to note that these new efforts include paid internships with employers to allow people with developmental disabilities to gain

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