Thursday, November 29, 2012

Utah Medicaid Autism Waiver Program

A couple weeks ago, before Thanksgiving, I got an exciting phone call. We were fortunate to have our youngest son selected to participate in the Utah Medicaid Autism Waiver Program until June of 2014. WooHoo! I will journal the journey to see what benefits come from it and in what ways it influences out son's development.
I am really grateful that I listened to a friend who encouraged me to register our son for the drawing in October. Honestly, I didn't think he would be selected, it is hard to get your hopes up for something like this that you know would be a huge help, especially when it is a drawing.
First of all I have to give a BIG THANK YOU to the many individuals who spent the long hours getting this bill HB-272 passed by the legislation. I appreciate your dedication to helping children with autism. I know some of your own children don't qualify for this program because of age, and yet you still worked so hard for all the other children and their families who will enjoy the benefits.
A few fyi's about the program there are only 200 children in the state of Utah, between the ages of 2-5, who will be participating in this ongoing program. Several counties all over Utah are participating; Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties have the most slots but the remaining slots for the program are in outling counties as well. As part of the program each child will recieve respite care, ABA therapy, OT therapy and medicaid services.
Utah Department of Health
I have finished filling out the paper work and getting the medical release form sign and sent into the Utah Department of Health that is over this waiver program in Salt Lake City.  -  BTW, if you are new parent of a child diagnosed with autism/Asperger's get use to filling out paper work. I strongly encourage you to keep all you child's documents filled, keep ever IEP, evaluation, diagnostics, and journal anything that is important such as behaviors, health concerns, sleep patterns... you will need these documents when your child is older to show what functional abilities or limitations they may have. - Now we wait to hear from our sons coordinator to have a planning meeting.
We have been able to choose our own respite provider and a good nieghbor how works with children in school who have sppecial needs is hopefully going tobe able to be his ABA therapist.

A little history about our son -
Our youngest, David, was diagnosed with high functioning autism at age 2. We pursued having an evaluation done after we noticed his limited speech, sensory challenges, limited interactions with others, digestive issues, and repetitive behaviors. Had we been unfamiliar with the signs of autism we would not have noticed the symptoms at such a young age. I guess you could see this as a blessing for having multiple children on the spectrum.
Some of the first resources we have and are utilizing for David are early childhood intervention and preschool with the local school district. He has had speech services, occupational therapy, and social skills training. His doctor reccommended having him get sensory therapy, so we took him to Primary Children's Rehab Center in Odgen and developed a great sensory diet that is really helping him with his sensory issues. We also had him begin horse therapy, at Hoofbeats to Healing two years ago, where we have seen significant improvements in his speech, interactions with others, and less frequent stemming. We are still addressing his digestive issues (although they have improved as well).
We are grateful for all of David's improvements and realize there is still some catching up to do before he is at an age approriate developmental level. we have hope for his future and look forward to seeing what happens over the course of this waiver program and how it effects his functinoal abilities and developmental skills.

If you want to know more about the program, here is a link -

Other Interesting facts about the Wavier Program from the website

During the 2012 Legislative session, an autism services pilot program bill was passed (HB-272). The bill requires services to be provided to children with autism spectrum disorders through three different pilot programs:

  1. A Public Employees Health Plan (PEHP) Pilot – this is a pilot program for a limited number of state employees’ children with autism spectrum disorders;
  2. Autism Treatment Account – the bill amended this previously existing account and appropriated one-time funding for use in a two year pilot program; and
  3. Medicaid Autism Waiver - requires the Utah Department of Health to apply for a new Medicaid waiver program to provide services to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD.) This discussion will focus on the design Medicaid’s two year, pilot program (the Waiver.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Free Concert for Children with Special Needs and Their Families

SARRC - Movie, Rise of the Guardians

Southwest Autism Research & Resource CenterLike us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Free Matinee Showing of
"Rise of the Guardians"
on Saturday, December 1!
Dear Friends,
Studio Movie Grill would like to invite SARRC families to a special screening of "Rise of the Guardians" at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 1. This event will be FREE of charge for children on the spectrum and their siblings. All others will be admitted at the standard matinee price of $5. Studio Movie Grill is located at 15515 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, 85260.
Please remember that seating is limited to the first 200 registrants!
If you wish to attend, you must:
1) Email your name and the number of people in your party to
2) When you arrive on Saturday, simply mention to the box office staff that your family is part of the SARRC promotional screening.
We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Big MAK's lunch for November 2013

Nov 13 - Lunch at Pepperbelly's

Join us for a MAKs lunch on Tuesday 
Nov 13
Pepperbelly's in Kaysville

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bouncin' Off the Walls

Mark the 2nd Monday night of each month for
Bouncin' Off the Walls 
9400 So 350 W. Sandy 
From 6 - 8 pm, for fun in a giant bouncy room
that only has one door in/out.
$5 a kid and lots of cool people to hang out with! 
Bring everyone!!

Autism Event for Utah County

You are all invited to the Bridges Autism Panel Next Wednesday, November 7th at Kids on the Move, 475 North 260 West, Orem from 6:30-8:30pm. 

We have several teens and adults with autism talking about their experience living with autism. 

This has been remarkable in the past. You can call ahead until this Friday for child-care at             801-221-9930      . Let me know if you have questions!  Karen Fairchild