Employing Individuals on the Spectrum

Posted By: Post 21 Club on July 25, 2:17 PM

April 19th, 2017
Margaret Gilbride, JD, CT, Instructor of Pediatrics, (Director of Transition, Employment, and Aging & Disability at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities), spoke on the employment of individuals on the Spectrum.
An Event hosted by Ryan Roy, Autism Advocate. Ms. Gilbride graduated from Indiana University School of Law and is a certified Thanatologist through the Association of Death Education and Counseling. She has been an Interfaith Chaplin Intern at Overlook Medical Center and is now a member of its bioethics committee representing the interests of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, Ms. Gilbride serves on a national committee, Educating Hospital and Hospice Providers on Healthcare Decision-making for People with Disabilities, the national board of directors for APSE: The Association of Persons Supporting EmploymentFirst, and the New Jersey board of directors for the state’s chapter. Prior to joining The Boggs Center, Ms. Gilbride worked as an Administrator, Research Associate, and Project Coordinator at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) where she provided direct technical assistance on topics such as program evaluation, strategic planning, staff development, and issue-specific workshops and group facilitation to schools, provider organizations, governmental agencies, businesses, family groups, and advocacy organizations.
In addition to her responsibilities at IIDC, Ms. Gilbride has held positions as Job Coach, Program Manager, Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Director. She is also a regular presenter at national conferences.

Work Address:
The Boggs Center
Liberty Plaza, 335 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 732-235-2109
FAX: 732-235-9330
Email: margaret.gilbride@rutgers.edu

Informative Seminar On the Joydew Strengths Assessment

Posted By: Post 21 Club on July 25, 2:16 PM

On May 24, 2017, from 6:30 pm 8:30 pm, Moish Tov and Marybeth Burtt of Joydew, LLC presented an informative seminar on the Joydew Strengths Assessment, or “S.A.” The S.A. stands in stark contrast to the current over-riding mentality of what people with Autism CAN’T do, in seeking to uncover what they CAN do. The S.A. is very much rooted in the D.I.R. methodology and philosophy pioneered by the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan of Washington University. Dr. Greenspan explored a number of categorized areas in which hidden skills could be sought. To the typical “lay-person” in Bergen County, D.I.R. may be thought of as “truly person-centered” programming for people with Autism. For example, what an individual may be very adept at may not be what he or she prefers to do as an occupation.

In addition to Strengths Assessment, the Joydew team also pursues “Total Communication”, acknowledging that people with Autism have varying modalities in which they are able (and also in which they prefer to) communicate.

The Seminar attracted 25 attendees, some of whom signed up for and underwent the Strengths Assessment with Joydew.

New Jersey Family Care update- June, 2017

Posted By: Post 21 Club on July 12, 9:49 PM

(By Beverley Roberts, the ARC of NJ)
June 2017: NJ FamilyCare - Important Information
It is important for families and staff to be aware of the necessity of completing the NJ FamilyCare renewal application if it arrives in the mail. The renewal application is mailed to those who already have Medicaid, and it is necessary for it to be completed and mailed back quickly, in order to continue Medicaid benefits. If this renewal application is ignored, the result would be the termination of Medicaid!
Please note that the term "NJ FamilyCare" is the same as "Medicaid." The "Aged, Blind, and Disabled" Medicaid program is one of the Medicaid categories in which many individuals with I/DD receive their Medicaid benefit.
Although a renewal application can be sent out as often as every year (depending upon the county in which one lives), some families may never have received a renewal application for their son/daughter's NJ FamilyCare/ Medicaid, while others may receive a renewal application every year. The NJ FamilyCare/ Medicaid renewal application is sent through the regular mail, at different times in the year, so if a family does not receive it, they should not be concerned.
Please share this information with others who may also be interested.
Thank you!
Beverly Roberts, Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care
The Arc of New Jersey
985 Livingston Avenue
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Direct line: 732.246.2567; T:732.246.2525 x34; F:732.246.2567
broberts@arcnj.org; www.arcnj.org

New Healthcare Law- Senate Vote Delayed

Posted By: Post 21 Club on July 12, 9:48 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stumbles in drive to pass the Senate version of Obamacare “repeal and replace”. If the measure does not pass by July 7, the Nation faces a fork in the road- greater troubles, or alternatively the Republicans will be forced to work with the Democrats across the aisle in creating a truly bi-partisan Health Care Bill.

New Senate Healthcare Bill delayed but still a threat to Adults with Autism

Posted By: Post 21 Club on July 12, 9:47 PM

The Republican-controlled Senate continues on its drive to repeal Obamacare and replace it with new legislation which may threaten Medicaid funding to the Adults with Autism population, even after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to delay the Senate vote for a week and a half to attempt to sway and obtain more positive votes.
Should the bill eventually pass, and Adults with Autism see their Medicaid funding drop, it would be up to the Governors of the States to seek replacement funding through other channels in order to attempt to maintain the current much-needed funding levels previously put in place through Obamacare.

Post 21 Club will continue to monitor changes to the status of Federal Medicaid funding as it impacts the Adults with Autism population.

Readers are further encouraged to keep current with the Kaiser Foundation reporting on Medicaid

ABA vs. DIR

Posted By: Post 21 Club on June 23, 7:26 PM

June 25, 2017: written by Post 21 Club

A tale of two Methodologies-

ABA: Since the 1970’s, families with Autism have scratched and clawed their way out of emotional devastation (and worse) toward something more palatable, to varying degrees, thanks to an approach stemming from the work of Dr. Ivar Lovaas, from that era. That approach is Applied Behavioral Analysis, or “ABA”.

Simplistically, ABA instructs that through a discrete trials “rewards” system, individuals with Autism can be “taught” or “trained” to subsist in the real world of their parents, and everyone around them. ABA further teaches that although the Autism Spectrum is wide, with a great variety of different manifestations of the disorder, the “cure” is the same: discrete trials with a “rewards” system. The system essentially impacts the wide variety of individuals on the Autism Spectrum in the same way, leading to relatively predictable results.

General complaints about ABA revolve around the observation that individuals tend to become “robotic”, although it is generally accepted to produce noticeable results. Another issue is that it requires “1-on-1” involvement for numerous hours/day, which is inescapably expensive.

DIR ®: The Developmental, Individual-differences, & Relationship-based model, or “DIR”, is an approach which is alternative to ABA. To paraphrase from the icdl website with founder the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan of Harvard and George Washington Universities: DIR is a way to understand individuals with Autism, and each other, that builds connections, understanding, love, communication, and engagement. Through this approach, the true potential of each person can be discovered.

An excellent overview of DIR/Floortime may be found on Wikipedia.

DIR incorporates a proprietary term called “Floortime”, which puts the principles found in DIR into practice. Combined with a special Strengths Assessment series of interviews with the family of an individual with Autism, administered by organizations such as Joydew, LLC of New Jersey (www.joydew.com), the chances of discovering the internal strengths, aptitudes, and future communications and career preferences are increased. DIR theoretically has the potential to “take our population to the next level”.

Fee for Service Clarification

Posted By: Post 21 Club on June 23, 7:25 PM

June 23, 2017: DDD Procedural Clarification on “Fee for Service” by Post 21 Club  

If you’re a parent who lives in New Jersey and you care for one or more adult children with Autism, you’re used to changes in the DDD support system every few years.  Here’s what you’ve seen, heard, or dealt with: “Self Determination”…”Real Life Choices”….”Self-Directed Services”.  Now, “Fee-for-Service” is set for implementation!

What does “Fee-for-Service” mean?  Potentially a good thing, as it is coincident with the onset of “Tier Funding”, which for some affected individuals means funding levels more appropriateness to their functioning levels.  Funding and provided services are more tightly linked, presumably increasing service value delivered “per dollar”.

Right now there appears to be a gap of understanding.  Many Providers and participants think it means that Program and Service Providers need to set staff and resources aside to keep time records taken at 15 minute intervals during each weekday.  Nothing can be further than the truth.

“Fee-for-Service” was adopted by the State Division of Developmental Disabilities as a way to facilitate choice and flexibility for Parents, and to foster competition between Program and Service providers.  Recently, when asked about the additional burden of keeping records at 15-minute intervals, the DDD desk (at the Phoenix House Provider Fair in Nutley, NJ) clarified that that was not the intention.  For example, if a given program lasts for, say, 4 hours, the paperwork is appropriately adjusted so that the Provider does not have file repetitive and redundant paperwork.  This is contrary to the current understanding of many Providers.

Indeed, many Program and Service providers are already girding for additional paperwork that would more resemble the arduous internal timekeeping in a busy law firm than the back office of an Autism program or service provider.  Providers should circle back with the DDD and re-clarify and confirm proper paperwork procedures under the new Fee-for-Service structure, prior to possibly squandering precious resources under a possible procedural mis-understanding.