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Review the ICAP and Medicaid funding to ensure they adequately support individuals on the spectrum with their required needs for behavioral, communication, social and sensory supports.

Pursue additional Medicaid waivers for autism

3.Review, Amend and Expand Existing Services

Adapt community residential and employment services to meet the needs of adults with an autism spectrum disorder, and ensure their access to these programs. This will require innovative approaches that also allow individuals to live alone with support. The current service system was developed for individuals with cognitive and mental health disabilities and does not meet the needs of adults with spectrum disorders. The State should examine existing services to determine if and how they can be applied to persons with autism; especially those who function at a higher level. The objective will be to adapt existing service systems to meet such needs rather than creating new programs.  For example, DVR would review and expand their supported and competitive employment options to meet the needs of higher functioning adults.

This is also a time for innovation as an ever growing number of students are graduating into adult services each year.

4.Increase Access to Therapies for Adults

The State must develop incentives to attract professionals to live and work in Delaware who can offer the professional services needed.

5. Create a University Center on Autism

The Task Force recommends a partnership with Delaware colleges and universities to provide undergraduate and graduate programs, professional training, and direct support staff training. A Center on Autism with these services can attract students to Delaware’s educational institutions from around the nation; provide rich opportunities for research, and prepare personnel for educational, professional and support staff positions. It would also provide a critically needed workforce for the anticipated adult population.

6.Review all State Human and Social Service Agencies

The Office should review the services of all State agencies (e.g. the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, etc.) that provide services to individuals with autism either directly or due to a co-morbid or secondary conditions so that their services can be expanded and adapted to the support needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders without creating new stand alone programs. The Office of Autism should provide technical assistance and support to these state agencies, and support their efforts through collaborative agreements, pilot projects and other mechanisms.

7.Take Regional Approaches

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