Archive for April, 2012

Senate OKs bill limiting teachers in restraint, seclusion of students

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Did you know. . . . .The Senate approved a bill in January 2012 that would limit the ability of public school teachers and staff to seclude or physically restrain students.

The bill was passed by the Senate on a voice vote and now goes to the Assembly. The proposal was one of several education bills approved in January by senators, including legislation to allow schools to issue vocational high school diplomas.

For more information see the link below:

Let us hear from you on this issue!

“Mom Shoots Disabled Son and Self at Sunnyvale Home”

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The autism community is deeply sadden and is still reeling over the recent death of Elizabeth Hodgins, and her son, George who was diagnosed with autism.

This tragedy has lead me to open this dialogue with the autism community, and the general public at large on the state of how our families are living with this disability today, and the current state of the system which funds and provides services to this population of children and adults.  This includes:  The Department of Education, Local Education Agencies, The Government and both State and Federal Funding Institutions.

The death of this mother and son is symbolic of the struggle which parents face when trying to obtain services, and supports from our society,  especially when attempting to obtain services for pre-teens and adults.  This difficulty extends to parents attempts to enforce their childs right to a FAPE and their rights for them.

Yet has this death changed anything ? Will the power of that tragedy make a difference ? Did they die in vain ? They didn’t. We’re all deeply saddened… At a time such as this, words cannot express our feelings. But, Nothing more clearly reveals the existence of that invisible chain which links all the events of their death, therefore :

We must hold the President, to his word and insist on fully funding IDEA.

The US Secretary of Education, can no longer be complicit, in light of having held in his hands absolute proof of California Department of Education refusal to enforce the law.

The California Governor, and making himself an accomplice of this tragedy, by persisting on cutting vital disability services.

The California Legislature, in the same, by voting the cuts to vital disability services.

Finally, the California public school districts; County SELPAs, County Offices of Education; Regional Centers; The Department of Health Care Services; The California Department of Public Health; Department of Rehabilitation of knowingly covering up violations of State and Federal laws, of knowingly exposing the disabled and their parents to emotional and mental abuse, resulting in psychological trauma, anxiety, chronic depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

Let us hear what you have to say about this tragedy!!!







Vote the Prevention of RESTRAINT & SECLUSION Bill

Thursday, April 5th, 2012


” Declaration of Principals Opposing the Use of Restraint, Seclusion, and Abuse, COPAA, 2008 retrieved 15 December 2008.”

” Seclusions and Restraints Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers




Legislature Dismantling Services For Elderly, and Disabled

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

A program once hailed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan as “A dynamic framework on which we shall build a comprehensive system to assure that people with disabilities develop to their potential” is now under attack, some 42 years later by his successors, both Republican and Democrat.

The legislation Gov. Reagan was lauding is now known as the Lanterman Act, the Bible by which services to persons with developmental disabilities are made available. Those disabilities include autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and a host of other developmental delays.

A year ago, California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office [LAO], warned that the state was starting down the path toward decimation of our 42-year commitment to the developmentally disabled, some 250,000 Californians.

The cliff at the end of the path that the LAO office predicted is now in sight, not only for the disabled but for thousands of other Californians who receive In-Home Supportive Services [IHSS] including the elderly, the medically fragile and those with chronic illnesses.

See more on this article  below and let us know how you feel!


Posted:   03/11/2012 01:30:54 AM PST

Autism in America: What do the new stats mean for families?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

KUDOS to Minnesota Public Radio for it’s broadcast on the pervasiveness of Autism, and what it means for families of children living with this disability!

View Autism Answers Resources Page to listen to this dialogue, and view the latest news on this under the Article Section.

Happy Listening. . . . .and comment on our blog about the questions, concerns and input on these issues that affect you.




The Mental Health Parity Act of 2000, AB 88

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Did you know:

In California, there is a law in place called AB 88, also known as the California Mental Health Parity Act of 2000.  This law requires coverage for the diagnosis and medically necessary treatment of the following “severe mental illnesses” in parity with other medical conditions:

pervasive developmental disorder or autism

schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia

bipolar and major depression

panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder

eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa)

Parity means under the same terms and conditions as other medical disorders, including:

         co-payments and deductibles

maximum lifetime coverage

in-patient, out-patient, and partial hospitalizations, prescription drugs, if the plan includes prescription drugs

visit limits — most (but not all) plans interpret this to include no annual visit limits if medically necessary.

With the recent passage of the Federal Mental Health Parity Act, most plans with 50 or more employees can no longer offer limits in the number of mental health visits if they don’t limit the number of medical visits. It is important to note that the CA Mental Health Parity Act entitles your child to a diagnostic evaluation if there is a suspicion of any of the above listed conditions.

Your primary care provider can authorize this.  The plan is still responsible for this evaluation even if the child is later found not to have an autistic spectrum disorder.

Blog us on this information and let us know if its helpful!!!

Occupational Therapy a Part of California’s Autism Advisory Task Force

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

To assist with implementation of  Senate Bill 946 and to address other issues, the state of California is convening an Autism Advisory Task Force to begin work on February 1. Among other duties, the task force will review evidence-based interventions and determine the necessary qualifications, training, and supervision of providers.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) nominated AOTA President Florence Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, to the task force, and the nomination was accepted.

“Dr. Clark is the ideal occupational therapy representative for the Autism Advisory Task Force with her wealth of clinical, research, and advocacy experience serving children with autism spectrum disorders,” says OTAC President Shawn Phipps, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA.  Clark’s participation on the task force allows occupational therapy to have a strong voice in discussions that will determine effective interventions for children with autism.

Gov. Brown wants the task force to determine the effectiveness of treatments and the appropriate duration and cost.  The task force will meet monthly until the end of 2012 and submit a report to the governor of their findings and recommendations.

Some critics of the new law, many in the health insurance industry, say that the price of covering the interventions will raise the cost of health insurance premiums.   Let us know what you think!

For more informations:


1. Colliver, V. (2011, October 12). Autism: Law make insurers cover therapy – for now. Retrieved January 11, 2012, from


The California Autism Mandate: SB 946

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Did you know that:

In October of 2011, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 946 into law.  This law requires that intensive outpatient behavioral health services be provided for people with autistic spectrum disorders.  This law will go into effect July 1, 2012 for all CA state regulated plans.

For more details on the SB946 and your childs medical insurance coverage see the link below:

Let us know what you think!