Medical programs, educational services, and mental services all cited insurance and private pay as well. Some organizations receive both, and some only receive private pay.
Staff Qualifications or Training Needs
This question had two parts. The first part asked about what training staff currently has related to autism spectrum disorders, and the second asked what are training needs to effectively address this group. This was clearly not a well worded question because only one respondent answered part 2, stating staff need training in non-aversive behavior management and experience.
The three state agencies have in-service training available and required for staff; however, little specific autism related training was cited. Responses were “standard DDDS training” or that mental health therapists are trained in approaches that are applicable to people with traits of OCD or ADHD. Only one adult service provider addressed training in the area of behavioral supports. Others cited training required by DDDS, and one stated they required an associate degree or experience for job coaches, and a bachelor’s degree for other staff. One physician and two psychologists stated they had training specific to ASD’s. Others referred to standard training, a doctorate in psychology, years of experience, or offering a “kind and caring” approach.
The survey requested information about any unique supports or services that the respondent offered this group. Only eight surveys answered this question and the general response was none. One program cited they had limited job coach hours (40) available due to funding, but they also offered additional social-skills training, job-carving, and natural supports. The outpatient rehabilitation facility states that it offers continuing education for its patients.
Eleven of the 30 respondents answered this question and there was more consistency around needs. Responses clustered around three major issues.
These individuals do not fit current systems which were designed to support other types of needs
Resources are not adequate and there is no long term funding to support this population at school or in the community
There is a lack of services available in the community.
One agency commented on issues related to the individual characteristics of people on the spectrum, citing their preference for jobs that are a poor match to skills. Additionally, one agency addressed the need to understand the required environment and be able to develop it for this population to be successful.