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A whole new way to engage autism

Welcome parents, caregivers, and professionals! Our new nonprofit invites your engagement in services that provide support, guidance, and education. We’re here to empower young families living with autism.

Your relationship with your child is so important to his social and emotional well being — now and throughout his lifetime. You spend the most time living with and loving your child. You have the greatest commitment to his development and lifelong happiness. But autism can make it hard to connect with your child. And because each child expresses autism in an individual way, it can be a confusing, frustrating, and time consuming process to find ways to support your child’s specific needs. We know. We’re there too.

We believe that parents are the key to lifelong success for children living with autism. It is, after all, a diagnosis that involves the whole family. Our volunteer board of directors, our writers and our presenters are all personally engaged with autism. It is this personal connection that fuels our passion for sharing, with you, what we know. We are dedicated to building bridges between research, practice and everyday life. It is at this center that engagement, true engagement, begins.

Here, families are the center. We offer education from experts,  how the latest research affects your family, and strategies that benefit your child. And we’re always looking for ways to grow. Explore with us the many possibilities of living with autism.

We’re here to help foster your child’s growth and development – and realize the joy of nurturing your child. Join our blog where we provide a place for everyone to learn and grow.

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Becoming Social

Last night at our Salon Series support group for parents, lots of information was shared about social development. A few resources stood out as ones that we wanted to share with the larger CEA community. The topic was social skills – focusing on things parents can do every day to support their young child’s social development.

TED Talk by Ami Klin: We’re as inspired as Ami by this research that allows scientists to detect autism in infancy. Remember when we speculated about where this research would lead? It’s a fascinating look at how young (first months of life) the divergence in children living with autism starts and how critical eye gaze is to our overall social development.

Jill Kuzma: Rarely can you have a discussion in Minnesota about social skills and not hear Jill’s name. Her web site is packed with incredibly useful tools to support social functioning, decrease anxiety and deconstruct the social rules we all take for granted.

Social Thinking: Using what we know about social deficits and brain functioning, Michelle Garcia Winner has developed comprehensive and accessible tools to teach these skills in a fun and practical way. Check out You are a Social Detective (early elementary), Incredible Flexible You (early childhood), and SuperFlex (mid elementary to junior high)!

MN Autism Benefit

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature passed a resolution to establish an Autism Early Intensive Intervention Benefit. Since then, the Department of Human Services has been hard at work to define what this benefit will look like and how it will be implemented in Minnesota. Using federal guidelines, DHS has called upon the expertise of key members of the autism community in Minnesota to define the benefit. As of June 1, the department has posted the results of this work and opened up the process to public comment. While part of the process included a task force of parents, CEA believes that parents need to be heard from directly. So join us next week on June 18 to get the details on this benefit directly from Anne Harrington who has led the task forces. Get your questions answered and provide your feedback directly at this presentation. Sign up here!

If you are unable to attend, you can still provide your feedback to DHS. DHS is seeking public comment to the State Plan Amendment that will initiate coverage for medically necessary Autism Early Intensive Developmental and Behavioral Interventions. This benefit will be available to children with autism from birth up to age 18 as part of Medical Assistance. Services include a comprehensive multi-disciplinary evaluation, intensive developmental and behavioral interventions, parent/caregiver training and education, care consultation and thorough progress monitoring.

Submit comments to DSD.PublicComments@state.mn.us no later than 4 p.m. Central Time, July 2, 2014. After the public comment period, DHS will make appropriate changes in the plan and submit it to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. View a copy of the amendment on the DHS public participation page.

 

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