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April 30, 2014Alerts

Family Alert: Licensed Behavior Specialists For Children And Youth With Autism

Sent by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania –

Friends –

The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) is the federally-mandated, state-designated protection and advocacy organization charged with protecting and advancing the rights of individuals with disabilities in the Commonwealth.  One of our priorities is to ensure that children have access to the behavioral and other disability-related services they need to succeed in their homes, schools, and communities.

DRN has concerns regarding the implementation of Act 62, the Autism Insurance Law, as it pertains to the availability of Licensed Behavior Specialists for children and youth with autism.

Subsequent to the passage of Act 62 of 2008, regulations setting forth the requirements for a behavior specialist license were promulgated by the Department of State (DOS) with an effective date of May 26, 2012. Shortly after the issuance of the regulations, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) notified providers and stakeholders that individuals who were then providing behavior specialist consultant services to children with autism spectrum disorders would be required to have a license by May 26, 2013 in order to receive payment through the Medical Assistance program.  Last year, due to various implementation challenges, the deadline was extended to May 26, 2014 under certain conditions.  This new deadline of May 26, 2014 is fast approaching.

If your child with autism has been prescribed and is receiving Behavior Specialist Services, the service should continue without interruption.  However, there is a possibility that you may need to change personnel or provider to continue the service in order for your child to receive support from someone the state considers qualified.  Now is the time to be discussing continuity of care with your child’s provider.

Your child should not experience an interruption in the service or a long wait for a newly prescribed service.  If that happens, please notify us by calling our intake number at 1-800-692-7443.

Thank you,
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg