Monday, December 29, 2008

AutismLink

AutismLink is an online community that provides information and resources for parents and family members of individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). AutismLink also offers opportunities for people affected by autism to connect through message boards, chat rooms and a mentoring program for families of children who have been newly diagnosed with autism. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program

The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program provides eligible special education students with the opportunity to attend private schools or public schools other than the one they would normally be required to attend. To qualify, students’ parents must be current residents of Georgia who have resided in the state for at least one calendar year, and students must have an IEP and have attended a Georgia K-12 public school the prior school year. Students who have autism are eligible to participate in the scholarship program. Further details are available by clicking on the link. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lil MAC Autism Grant

The Mitchell A. Callahan Foundation was formed to raise funds for families of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The foundation accepts applications for its Lil MAC Autism Grant in October and November. For further information or to find out how to make a donation, send a message to lilmac@lilmackids.org. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Autism Assistance Fund of Arizona

The Autism Assistance Fund of Arizona provides financial assistance to low-income children and adults who have autism or Asperger’s. Grants of up to $400 are awarded to pay for medical, dental, behavior therapy, job training, education, summer camp and other expenses. Click on the link for information about how to obtain an application for assistance or a donation form. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Goh Foundation Scholarship Grant for Children with Autism

The Goh Foundation Scholarship Grant provides up to $1,000 to families of children with autism under age six to help pay for independent evaluations/assessments, special education advocacy services, autism treatments, and parent training/seminars. California families with an income of $70,000 a year or less who have been denied funding from other sources. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hannah’s Helping Hands Grant Program Open to Individuals with Autism

Hannah & Friends, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with developmental disabilities, provides funding for the Hannah’s Helping Hands (HHH) Grant Program. Hannah’s Helping Hands quality of life grants for families of adults and children with special needs who are residents of Rhode Island and Indiana, including the greater Michiana area. The grants, which range from $100 and $500, can be used for anything that improves the quality of life of the developmentally disabled person. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Autism Support Network

Autism Support Network is an online community that connects individuals and families touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with each other. Autism Support Network also provides insight and support, and serves as a resource guide for autism treatments, strategies and therapies. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Utah Special Needs Scholarship

The Utah Special Needs Scholarship provides tuition assistance for eligible special needs students enrolled in eligible private schools. To qualify, students’ parents must reside in Utah, and students must be between the ages of 5 and 21 and must have autism or another qualifying disability. In addition, students must have been enrolled in a Utah public school the prior school year, be eligible to receive special education services and have been admitted to an eligible private school. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Autism Puzzle Foundation

The Autism Puzzle Foundation offers grants to help families of children who have autism and reside in Vermont pay for therapy, equipment and toys through its Assistive Technology Project. Click on the link to obtain an application or learn how you can support the foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seeds of Hope Autism Support Fund

Seeds of Hope is a Michigan-based organization that provides scholarships for families affected by autism who have children attending Jenison Public Schools through its Autism Support Fund. The scholarships can be used to pay for family counseling, intervention therapies and continuing education. Click on the link to obtain a scholarship form. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aid for Autistic Children Foundation

The mission of the Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc. is to provide funds to families that have exhausted their earnings and savings, as well government and other nonprofit financial resources, because of their desire to better the lives of their children or adult dependents who have autism. The foundation is willing to provide families affected by autism with up to $150,000 to pay down or eliminate any debt accumulated as a direct result of medical care or educational therapy for family members with autism. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, December 13, 2008

National Autism Association of Pennsylvania Helping Hand Mini-Grant

The National Autism Association of Pennsylvania (NAA-PA) offers financial assistance to families affected by autism through its Helping Hand Program. Grants of up to $300 will be awarded to Central Pennsylvania families to pay for autism interventions not covered by insurance or medical assistance. Click on the link to find out more about the grants or to make a donation to NAA-PA. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, December 12, 2008

Autism Hangout

Autism Hangout is an online community that offers information and social networking opportunities for family members, caregivers, educators, medical professionals and others whose lives are affected by autism. Autism Hangout is a great place to check out the last news, participate in discussions and meet others who are living with autism. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easter Seals Provides In Home Services for Adults with Autism

Easter Seals provides in home services and supports for adults who have severe physical or cognitive impairments. Adults with autism are eligible for services, including companionship/respite, homemaker/housekeeping, therapy, health services and personal care. In home care services that preserve dignity and self-esteem as well as promote increased independence are offered. Services provided include bathing, dressing, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, transportation and shopping. View the Easter Seals directory to locate a provider. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FSU Autism Project

The Florida State University (FSU) Autism Project provides stipends for families affected by autism to attend training, educational programs and retreats. For information about obtaining a stipend or making a donation, call (850) 644-4367. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ohio Autism Scholarship Program

The Ohio Department of Education Autism Scholarship Program allows parents in the state whose children have autism to choose to send their children to special education programs outside of their school districts to receive the services outlined in their IEPs. The scholarships are for a maximum of $20,000 per school year. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, December 7, 2008

LaPeer Autism Family Relief Fund

The purpose of the LaPeer Autism Family Relief Fund is to help LaPeer County, Michigan, families affected by autism with care and treatment expenses. For more information or to make a donation, call (810) 664-0691. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, December 6, 2008

SPEECH PATHways Foundation Can Help People with Autism Afford Speech Therapy

SPEECH PATHways Foundation provides grants of up to $5,000 to applicants between the ages of 1 and 16 years old who reside within 30 mile radius of Carroll County, Maryland. Children who have autism are eligible to apply for the grants, which are focused on helping with communication disorders maximize their ability to communicate. Click on the link to obtain a grant application. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, December 5, 2008

Give Me A Break Fund Provides Respite to Families Coping with Autism

The Give Me A Break (GMAB) Respite Fund, a program of the Autism Society of Colorado, pays trained providers to temporarily relieve families of the daily care and supervision of a loved one with autism. For more information, contact Lorri Park. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Autism Pathway Foundation

Autism Pathway Foundation provides monetary assistance and other resources for families affected by autism that reside in Loudoun County, Virginia. To apply for financial assistance or make a donation, contact Autism Pathway Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Golden Fund for Autism

The Golden Fund for Autism is committed to helping Long Island families of children who have autism access alternative treatments and therapies. For more information or to make a donation, contact The Golden Fund for Autism. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Autism Family Foundation of Northeast Ohio Grants

The Autism Family Foundation of Northeast Ohio awards grants of up to $500 to families affected by autism. For more information, call Barb Hudak at (330) 864-4414 or Georgann Pinter at (330) 671-7731. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, December 1, 2008

Affordable Speech Therapy for People with Autism

Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center treats patients regardless of ability to pay. The clinic, located at Smith Hall, treats articulation, language, fluency, voice, eating and swallowing, and hearing problems. The clinic, which also provides assistive technology services, operates three socialization groups for children who have autism. The clinic operates on a sliding fee scale, and no one is turned away for inability to pay. For more information, call (304) 696-3640. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Easter Seals Provides Medical Rehabilitation to People with Autism

Easter Seals provides medical rehabilitation in the form of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, audiology, early intervention and other therapies to people have autism and other disabilities. Services are provided in Easter Seals facilities, as well as homes and schools. Funding is provided by insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, Workers’ Compensation and other state programs. Clients may also self-pay or receive public support (if eligible). For more information, contact Easter Seals. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Colorado Helps Families Affected By Autism through Home and Community Based Support Waivers

Colorado residents who are affected by autism can receive assistance through several Home and Community Based Support (HCBS) Waivers.

To qualify for waiver services, children and adults must meet financial, medical and program criteria. Applicant’s income must be less than $1,986.00 (300% of the Supplemental Security Income allowance) per month and must have countable resources of less than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. The applicant must also be at risk of placement in a nursing facility, hospital or intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded (ICF/MR).

Individuals approved for waiver services are eligible for all basic Medicaid covered services except nursing facility and long-term hospital care. Waiver services are provided in home and community settings. Services must be provided by certified Medicaid providers or by a Medicaid contracting managed care organization.

Colorado residents with autism may qualify for one of the following HCBS waivers: the Children with Autism Waiver, the Children’s HCBS Waiver, the Children’s Extensive Support Waiver, the Children’s Habilitation Residential Program Waiver, the Supported Living Services Waiver or the Waiver for Persons Developmentally Disabled.

Following is a brief description of each of the aforementioned waiver programs.

Children with Autism Waiver-provides children with autism under age six with case management and behavioral therapies.

Children’s HCBS Waiver-provides disabled children through age 17 with case management and in home support services (IHSS).

Children’s Extensive Support Waiver-provides children with developmentally delays through age 17 with specialized medical equipment and services, community connection services, home modifications, personal assistance and professional services.

Children’s Habilitation Residential Program Waiver-provides developmentally disabled children and youth in foster care who have extraordinary needs with cognitive services, communication services, community connection services, counseling and therapeutic services, emergency assistance training, independent living training, personal care services, self-advocacy training, supervision services and travel services.

Supported Living Services Waiver-provides developmentally disabled adults with specialized medical equipment and supplies, counseling and therapeutic services, dental services, day habilitation services, hearing services, home modifications, personal assistant services, supported living consultation, transportation, vision services and employment services.

Waiver for Persons Developmentally Disabled-provides developmentally disabled adults living outside of their family home with day habilitation, residential habilitation, transportation, specialized medical equipment and supplies, supported employment, skilled nursing, behavioral services, dental services and vision services.

For more information, call Michelle Cason at (303) 866-3895. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, November 28, 2008

RiteCare Childhood Language Program Helps Children with Autism

RiteCare Childhood Language Program, a program of the Scottish Rite Masons, helps children with communication disorders, developmental delays and other disabling conditions through its network of 170 clinics, centers and special programs throughout the U.S. Children with autism are eligible for services through the program. RiteCare clinics provide diagnostic evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders. Pre-school children who have difficulty speaking or understanding the spoken word are eligible for speech therapy services. Some facilities also provide services to school age children and adults.

Sliding fee scales and financial assistance are available. Check with your local facility for more information. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Children’s Therapy Fund Grants Help Children with Autism and Other Special Needs

The Children’s Therapy Fund provides grants to help Michigan families in need pay for diagnostic and therapeutic services to help their children reach their full potential. Grants from the Children’s Therapy Fund are available to fund physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, vision therapy, hippotherapy and other innovative pediatric therapies that enhance the quality of children’s lives. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joseph Snyder Autism Fund

The mission of the Joseph Snyder Autism Fund is to provide ongoing financial assistance to help parents of children who have autism pay for medical care, biomedical treatments and therapies that will allow their children to have a hope of a full recovery. For more information, contact info@josephsnyderautismfund.org. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 15, 2008

McKay Scholarships for Students with Autism and Other Disabilities

Children with autism who reside in Florida are eligible for the McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program. The program, part of the state’s school choice initiative, offers K-12 students who have autism and other disabilities scholarships to attend private schools of their choice.

Students who have an IEP, were enrolled in a public school in the state during the prior school year, whose parents file intent at least 60 days prior to the date of the first scholarship payment, and who have been accepted to a private school are eligible to receive a McKay Scholarship. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, November 10, 2008

NeighborHeart Grants for Children and Adults with Autism

NeighborHeart Quality of Life Grants are available to families caring for children and adults with autism that reside in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States (i.e., Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York). The $500 grants can be used for anything that improves the family’s quality of life, including therapy, medical treatment and travel, respite care, educational advocacy services, training fees and security improvements.

Click on the link to find out how you can support NeighborHeart by making a donation or volunteering. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Autism Support Daily Grant Programs

Autism Support Daily assists Vermont families coping with autism through its two grant programs. Fall Harvest Grants of up to $400 are available to pay for therapy sessions, evaluations, supplements, prescriptions, medical treatments, laboratory testing, adaptive programs, communication devices, travel costs and other expenses. Applications are due by November 15, 2008.

Autism Support Daily also offers Back to School Sensory Support Grants. The grants are offered in the form of $40 gift certificates to be used at Southpaw Enterprises. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Autism Help Network Grants

The Autism Help Network provides grants of up to $1,000 to provide therapy and non-experimental biomedical treatments to children who have autism. Families that have combined salaries of less than $45,000 per year are eligible to apply for the grants. To apply for a grant or make a donation to the Autism Help Network, send an email to office@autismhelpforyou.org. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autism Resource Foundation Parent Partnering Program

The Autism Resource Foundation, in collaboration with the HOPE Group, provides training and certification to Arizona families of children who have autism that enables them to receive compensation for working with other parents and their children with special needs. For more information, call Anthony Hale at (602) 324-9716 or send him an email. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Micro-Loans for Biomedical Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lend4Health facilitates community-based, interest-free loans for the biomedical treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Prospective loan recipients submit loan request forms through the Lend4Health site. Lenders make interest-free loans through Paypal.

Visit Lend4Health for more information about obtaining or providing a micro-loan to pay for biomedical treatments for children and adults who have autism. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in Take Charge of Your Health Carnival

Autism Assistance Resources and Information participates in the October 2008 edition of the Take Charge of Your Health Care Carnival. Visit the carnival for some great posts on health care issues. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in Kids and Money Carnival

Autism Assistance Resources and Information participates in the October 2008 edition of the Kids and Money Carnival. Visit the carnival and check out some great posts on kids and money. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in Rich Life Carnival

Autism Assistance Resources and Information participates in Rich Life Carnival #14. Check out the carnival for tips on healthy living, self-improvement, personal finance and more. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in 10 Posts About Realizing Your Potential

Autism Assistance Resources and Information participates in the October 2008 edition of 10 Posts About Realizing Your Potential. Visit the carnival and check out some great posts about healing, grow and self-actualization. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autism Foundation of the Carolinas

The Autism Foundation of the Carolinas provides financial assistance to families of children who have autism that reside in the Charlotte area. Contact the foundation for information about scholarships for families in need of financial assistance or to make a donation to the Autism Foundation of the Carolinas. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tax and Public Benefit Eligibility Reforms Needed to Help Families Affected By Autism Avoid Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers worldwide have united to blog about poverty. Many families affected by autism are currently facing poverty. Many more families are only a few paychecks away from financial ruin. I am hopeful that lawmakers and policymakers will read this post and make some changes to both public benefit eligibility criteria and tax laws. Families of children who have autism should be able to both obtain treatment necessary to improve their children’s lives and meet their other financial obligations. Parents should not have to choose between helping their children thrive and keeping a roof over their heads.

Autism treatment is expensive. The cost of ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy and other therapies, interventions and equipment used to improve the functioning and quality of life of people who have autism typically costs thousands of dollars. In fact, the cost of intensive autism treatment could easily exceed a typical family’s annual housing, transportation and food costs combined.

Not surprisingly, many families affected by autism cannot afford to provide the treatments their children need. Overwhelming autism treatment costs combined with gaps in health insurance coverage lead some families of children who have autism to refinance mortgages, sell cars, deplete savings, make hardship withdrawals from 401ks and file for bankruptcy. University of Missouri researcher Deanna Sharpe reported cases of families skipping meals in order afford autism treatment.

Families should not have to choose between eating or obtaining treatment for their children. Policymakers need to reevaluate eligibility criteria for public benefits, taking into consideration that families raising children with autism have excessive financial burdens that typical families do not incur. Special guidelines need to be implemented for families affected by autism, including raising income limits and using net income rather than gross income to determine eligibility for SSI, LIHEAP and other income-based financial assistance programs.

Many families of children who have autism have to give up an income because a parent must become a full-time caregiver. Child care assistance benefits need to be made accessible to families of children with autism so parents who are able to can pursue part-time employment and so parents can afford respite care when needed.

In addition, lawmakers need to consider the exceptional expenses of families coping with autism when making tax reforms. Dependent care tax deductions and flexible spending account eligibility need to be restructured to take into consideration the needs of families affected with autism. In addition, families need to be allowed to deduct the full amount of autism treatment as a medical expense—not just that portion which exceeds 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.

Policymakers and lawmakers need to become knowledgeable about autism and its financial impact on families. Furthermore, they need to be willing to make changes in laws, policies and the tax code to keep families who are struggling financially because of autism from slipping into poverty.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ann Arbor Autism Foundation

The Ann Arbor Autism Foundation provides financial support to individuals and families affected by autism who live in Washtenaw County, Michigan. The foundation provides scholarships to help fund the cost of educational, recreational, therapeutic and support services. Scholarship application deadlines are May 1 and October 1.

Click on the link if you would like to make a donation to the Ann Arbor Autism Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in Education Carnival

Autism Assistance Resources and Information is participating in the 192nd Carnival of Education. Visit the carnival and check out posts about education news, issues and opinions. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lowcountry Autism Foundation

The Lowcountry Autism Foundation provides financial assistance for autism treatment to families in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and the surrounding areas. Funding can be used
to pay for developmental screenings, diagnostic evaluations, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, counseling and other services.

Click on the links to download an application for financial support or to make a donation to the Lowcountry Autism Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, October 10, 2008

Benzer Autism Foundation

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Benzer Autism Foundation provides assistance to children with autism who have immediate needs for housing, medical attention and assistance dealing with everyday situations. The Benzer Autism Foundation also has a number of programs for children with autism.

Click on the link to find out how you can make a donation to the Benzer Autism Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Parker Autism Foundation

The Parker Autism Foundation provides scholarships and grants for children with autism who live in North Carolina to receive therapy or to participate in summer camps. Click on the link to find out how you can support the Parker Autism Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autism International Foundation

The Autism International Foundation is dedicated to providing financial assistance for services to children who have autism throughout the world. The foundation’s goal is to enable children on the autism spectrum to receive humane, state-of-the-art treatments, therapies and services.

In the U.S., the Autism International Foundation helps parents obtain assessments and connect with attorneys and advocates to help their children access legally-mandated services. Internationally, the foundation is currently supporting the efforts of the Armenian International Child Development Center, a model program that is providing intensive services to children on the autism spectrum in home and school settings.

Click here if you would like to support the work of the Autism International Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in the Festival of Frugality

Autism Assistance Resources and Information is participating in the Festival of Frugality. Visit the festival and check out posts that can help you save money on all sorts of things. The money you save can be used to fund autism treatment. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nonprofit Provides Funding for Early Intensive Autism Treatment

Today’s Hope is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide families of children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders with access to early intervention services, specifically early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI).

According to the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT), EIBI for children who have autism consists of 20-40 hours per week of individualized instruction. EIBI can be delivered in a home, clinic or school setting.

The average annual cost of EIBI is upward of $33,000. EIBI is generally recommended for 2-3 years to achieve optimal outcomes. EIBI is widely considered a highly effective treatment for autism.

The cost of EIBI can place it out of reach for many families. That’s where Today’s Hope comes in. This month, the organization will begin providing financial support to families to cover the cost of a variety of early intervention services for children who have autism for a period of three years. Today’s Hope will pay providers who meet its criteria for providing early intervention services with up to $1,000 monthly. Families that are selected to participate in the program will receive up to $36,000 in EIBI services over 3 years.

Today’s Hope will provide assistance to families that meet the following criteria:
  • Has a child recently diagnosed with autism up to 8 years old
  • Other financial resources have been exhausted
  • Struggling with the cost of multiple interventions, such as ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy
For questions about applying for services or supporting Today’s Hope, click here or send an email to info@TodaysHopeAutism.org. Sphere: Related Content

Lekotek Makes Play Accessible to Children with Autism and Other Disabilities

Lekotek helps children with autism and other special needs participate in, learn from and enjoy playing. Lekotek has 32 play and learning centers nationwide that make play accessible to children with disabilities through traditional toys, adapted toys, books and computers. Through play, children with special needs learn the skills necessary to build a foundation for literacy, mathematical reasoning and computer use.

Lekotek’s mission is to promote the inclusion of children with special needs into family and community life through the use of interactive play. Lekotek play sessions, lending libraries, Compuplay computer centers and community-specific programs are available to children with special needs and their parents, siblings, extended family members and caregivers.

Lekotek was founded in Sweden in the early 1960’s by two parents of children with disabilities who were seeking ways to help their children during their formative years. Their goal was to develop a program that would both foster their children’s development and facilitate their full inclusion in society. Their efforts resulted in the creation of the first Lekotek facility in Stockholm. Today, Lekotek centers are widespread in Scandinavian countries and are a mandatory component of the social welfare service delivery system in Sweden and Norway.

Each Lekotek site has its own fee schedule, and many sites offer sliding fee scales. For more information, contact your local Lekokek center or call (800) 366-PLAY. Click on the link if you are interested in starting a Lekotek site in your community. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Assistance Resources and Information Participates in Tax Savings Carnival

Autism Assistance Resources and Information is participating in the Taxtoberfest Blog Carnival. Check out the carnival for posts that can help you minimize your taxes and maximize your refund so you can use those tax savings to help fund your child's autism treatment. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, October 5, 2008

O’Berry Center Foundation Family Support Grants

O’Berry Center Foundation Family Support Grants are available to families affected by developmental disabilities who reside in counties in central and east North Carolina. Autism is classified as a developmental disability.

Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to families who have exhausted other resources to purchase durable equipment such as communication devices, sensory integration equipment, recreational equipment and other assistive technology equipment and devices.

O’Berry Center Foundation Family Support Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis. Application deadlines are December 1, April 1, June 1 and September 1.

For more information about applying for a grant or supporting the O’Berry Center Foundation, send an email message to monunc@nc.rr.com or call Dennis Mays at (919) 581-4015. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Special Needs and Money

Autism Assistance Resources and Information is participating in the Second Carnival of Special Needs and Money. Kim Greenblatt is hosting the carnival, which features posts about finances for families coping autism and other special needs. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Autism X 6

Autism X 6 is a documentary about the Kirton family’s experiences raising six children who have autism. Autism X 6 premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Discovery Health. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Funding Autism Treatment Takes Resourcefulness and Determination

Parents of children who have autism know it is important that they provide their children with early and intensive treatment in order to help them thrive and improve their long term outcomes. Unfortunately, parents whose children have autism also know all-too-well that the cost of intensive autism treatment—which could include specialized assessments and evaluations, instruction, therapies, interventions, diets, equipment, materials and treatment-related travel expenses—could easily overwhelm budgets, deplete savings and place a family on the brink of bankruptcy.

A Los Angeles Times article cited $70,000 per child per year as a typical cost for autism treatment. The cost of a 3-year intensive autism treatment program has been estimated as high as $300,000.

Although the cost of autism treatment can be staggering, through a combination of resourcefulness and determination, parents can find funding to help pay a significant portion of the costs of autism treatment. Here are some strategies for funding autism treatment:

· Pare Down Personal Expenses- Eliminate all unnecessary personal and household expenses. Minimize any expenses that cannot be eliminated. The money you save by eliminating waste and reducing costs can be used to pay for autism treatment.

· Squeeze Every Cent Possible out of Your Health Insurance Plan- Find out which autism treatment costs your health insurance will pay. File timely, thoroughly documented claims for all covered evaluations, treatments, therapies and other expenses.

· Sign-up for a Medical Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)-Allocate the maximum dollar amount your employer will allow that you are certain you will use annually to your medical care FSA. The funds can be used to pay for autism treatment costs directly or to reimburse you for out of pocket treatment costs.

· Apply for SSI- If your child qualifies for SSI, the funds he or she receives could be used to pay a portion of the costs of autism treatment.

· See if You Qualify for Medicaid or Other State-Funded Health Care Programs- Medicaid or other state-funded health care programs could be used to pay for certain autism treatment costs.

· Apply for Financial Assistance from State and Local Human Services Agencies- Some states and municipalities offer direct payments, vouchers and other forms of assistance that could be used to fund autism treatment.

· Apply for Grants- A number of charitable organizations offer grants to help pay the costs of autism treatment. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trusera Autism Community

Trusera, an online health network where members can find and share real-world experiences, has an active autism community. Members can use the Trusera Autism Community to ask and answer questions, share stories, write journal entries, check out resources and connect with others whose lives are affected by autism. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Excellent Resources for Parents Raising Children with Autism

Child-Autism-Parent-Café and its sister site Autism Concepts have excellent resources for families coping with autism. The sites provide a comprehensive collection of lifespan resources for families raising children who have autism. Child-Autism-Parent-Café also provides some information that is specifically for African-Americans who have children with autism. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autism Foundation of Ingham County Grants

The Autism Foundation of Ingham County (Michigan) offers grants to local families affected by autism. The grants can be used to pay for doctor and therapy appointments, therapy evaluations, equipment, conferences and respite care. Click on the link to find out how to apply for a grant or to offer support to the Autism Foundation of Ingham County. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 19, 2008

Social Networking Community for Moms of Children Who Have Autism

Moms Fighting Autism is a social networking community for moms of children who have autism. Moms coping with autism can use the site to upload photos, write journals and find friends. Both moms fighting autism and moms fighting intolerance toward people who have autism will find support at Moms Fighting Autism. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Children’s Disabilities Information

Children’s Disabilities Information has an extensive collection of articles and resources designed to empower parents of children with disabilities and special needs. The site has a number of helpful resources for parents of children who have autism, including articles, book reviews, discussion lists and an annotated list of links to autism resources. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fathers Autism Guide

Dictionary for Dads has compiled a Fathers Autism Guide that provides some basic information about autism. Dictionary for Dads provides information and resources to help fathers make informed decisions about raising their children that are based on education, research and practical experience.

Click on the link to learn how you can support the work of Dictionary for Dads Operation Fund. Sphere: Related Content

Use Passive Savings Programs to Fund Autism Treatment

Passive savings programs are programs that allow you to save money with minimal effort. With passive savings programs, you earn cash rebates, rewards or credits for purchasing items you need or want. Shopping rewards, rebate programs, loyalty programs and affinity programs are types of passive savings programs.

Web sites that offer rebates for making purchases can be excellent passive savings programs.
The best thing about passive savings programs is they are an easy way to save money by doing things you normally do anyway—like shopping online, shopping in retail stores, buying groceries, filling prescriptions, eating out, traveling, and more.

Once your funds are available, you can use them to pay for autism interventions such as ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology or augmentative communication devices. The funds can also be used to pay for a college education as well as other expenses of your choice.

Click on the link to learn how to earn money to fund autism treatment through passive savings programs. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fathers Network Offers Support to Dads of Children with Disabilities

The Washington State Fathers Network (FN) is the only regional program in the United States that is devoted solely to supporting fathers of children with developmental disabilities and special health care needs. Although the organization is based in Bellevue, Washington, fathers of children who have special needs worldwide are able to benefit from the Fathers Network through its Web site.

The Fathers Network offers a variety of resources to assist fathers of children who have disabilities and other special needs, including workshops, trainings, news, inspirational stories, newsletters, curricula and an events calendar.

Click here for information on how you can support the work of the Fathers Network. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Develop and Implement an Autism Treatment Plan

Once you have created an Autism Intervention Action Plan for your child, you can use it to develop and implement an Autism Treatment Plan.

Here’s how:

1. Use what you learned about how autism affects your child to determine which therapies, treatments and interventions you feel would currently be most appropriate and beneficial for your child. Write a rationale for each treatment you are considering to help you clearly communicate your reasons for choosing to pursue each treatment option—based, of course, on your child’s strengths, deficits, behaviors, capabilities and needs—to treatment providers, school personnel, service coordinators and funding sources.

2. Discuss your proposed treatment plan with loved ones and individuals who are knowledgeable about autism interventions that you respect and trust. Discuss the pros and cons of each autism treatment option you are considering. Carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each autism intervention you are thinking about implementing.

3. After you have finalized your basic autism treatment plan, prioritize the autism interventions you intend to implement. Place the therapies, treatments and interventions you believe are most essential for your child at this time at the top of your list.

4. From your own research, recommendations from other parents of children who have autism and referrals from physicians, therapists, consultants and specialists you trust, compile a list of potential service providers.

5. Contact the autism treatment providers you feel will best meet your child’s needs. Arrange to meet with the service providers whose qualifications, treatment approaches, fees and locations meet your requirements without your child present. Arrange for the autism treatment providers whom you would most like to have work with your child to actually meet your child. Make final decisions about which autism intervention professionals to work with after you have observed the prospective service providers interacting with your child.

Sphere: Related Content

Funding Autism Treatment with Health Insurance

Depending on what type of health insurance plan you have (HMO, PPO, POS, etc.), your health insurance may fully or partially cover some or all of the evaluations, therapies, treatments and interventions your child with autism needs. A little investigation on your part will uncover whether and how helpful your health insurance plan will be as a funding source for autism treatment.

Analyze Your Health Insurance Policy

The first thing you need to do is conduct a bit of (health insurance) policy analysis. Read your health insurance handbook and statement of coverage, as well as any other document you can get your hands on that spells out exactly which services related to your child’s autism treatment your insurance will cover. Write down any questions you have and contact your health plan’s member services hotline to address your concerns.

Find out specifically what coverage and benefit limitations your plan has; how much your out-of-pocket costs (such as co-payments and deductibles) will be; whether your health insurance plan offers specific benefits for autism, the maximum number of therapy visits (speech, OT, PT) your plan allows on both annual and lifetime basis; whether your plan limits coverage for specific diagnosis codes; and which, if any, mental health service your health insurance plan covers.

Be sure to ask what procedures you need to follow in order to file a successful claim for covered services. Find out whether you need a referral, a prescription, a letter of medical necessity, support letters from therapists, school personnel, etc.

Inquire about procedures for filing an appeal if your claim is denied. Obtain the address, fax and phone numbers for your health insurance provider’s appeals department.

Keep Thorough Records

Once you’ve found out what is covered and what you need to do in order to file a successful claim, start a documentation file for keeping copies of all paperwork related to your child’s autism treatment. Keep copies of receipts, prescriptions, invoices, explanation of benefits (EOB) forms, letters of medical necessity and support letters from physicians, therapists, teachers, case managers and social workers.

Good recordkeeping practices will help you immensely in terms of managing your claims, appealing claim denials and preparing to file your income taxes.

Determination and Persistence Will Pay Off

Despite the well-publicized difficulties and frustrations some families have encountered while attempting to fund autism treatment through health insurance policies, it is very much worth your effort to find out which autism treatments your insurance will cover and to proactively seek payment of any eligible covered expenses by your health insurance carrier. Your dogged determination and relentless persistence will help you pay for the autism treatments and interventions your child needs in order to thrive.

For additional information and resources regarding funding autism treatment with health insurance, visit Blessed with Autism and Insurance Help for Autism. Sphere: Related Content

Funding Autism Treatment with a Medical Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

If your employer offers a Medical Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), sign up for them right away! Medical Care Flexible Spending Accounts, also known as Flexible Spending Arrangements, are excellent resources for funding autism treatment.

A Medical Care FSA be used to pay for diagnostic evaluations, co-payments, treatment and therapy fees, therapy equipment, over-the-counter and prescription medications, dietary supplements, medical travel expenses, disabled dependent care expenses, special education and specialized tutoring, among other expenses. For a full list of expenses that can be reimbursed by a Medical Care FSA, consult IRS Publication 502.

Autism treatment expenses that may be eligible (depending on your particular Medical Care FSA) for reimbursement for reimbursement may include ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, dietary supplements, diagnostic evaluations, assistive technology equipment, augmentative communication devices, tuition for therapeutic day schools and travel expenses for treatment in out-of-state facilities. Call the Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-1040 and check with your Medical Care FSA plan administrator for more information about which autism treatment expenses are reimbursable through your Medical Care FSA.

In addition to reimbursing you for out-of-pocket expenses for autism treatment, FSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that reduce your tax liability by reducing your taxable income. This may make you eligible for certain refundable tax credits.

This is how Medical Care FSAs work. If your employer allows you to place a maximum of $3,000 in a Medical Care FSA and you elect to take advantage of the full amount of the benefit, you will have the $3,000 deducted from your paycheck in equal installments. For example, if you are paid every other week and receive 26 annual paychecks, approximately $115.38 will be deducted from each of your paychecks. The funds will be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis so your taxable income will be lowered by $115.38 per paycheck and a total of $3,000 for the year. Having a lower annual taxable income could help you qualify for tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit or the additional child tax credit.

When you incur eligible expenses, you simply complete your particular FSA plan’s reimbursement form and submit it—along with receipts, invoices and any other required documentation— to your plan’s processing department. You may request reimbursement for eligible expenses as soon as you incur them, even if you haven’t yet paid for the service. Reimbursement is usually made promptly via direct deposit or check. Some Medical Care FSA plans provide debit cards that can be used to pay for expenses upfront. For more information, read IRS Publication 969.

Here are some tips for deriving maximum benefit from Medical Care FSAs:

1. Sign up for the maximum Medical Care FSA benefit amount you will actually use. If you do not use your entire benefit amount during your plan year, you will lose the unused portion. Create an itemized estimate of the amount you will spend on eligible medical expenses during the plan year before deciding how much you’d like to place in your Medical Care FSA.

2. Find out what type of documentation you need for each type of claim you will be submitting for reimbursement from your Medical Care FSA. Medical Care FSA plans generally request receipts, explanation of benefits (EOB) statements and itemized statements. To obtain reimbursement for some services, some plans may require prescriptions, letters of medical necessity, confirmations of appointments or other documentation. Be sure to keep copies of all documentation for your records.

3. Request reimbursement promptly after incurring an eligible expense.

4. Use all of the funds in your Medical Care FSA during your plan year. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

College Resources for Students with Autism

College Resources for Students with Autism provides information about college preparation, planning, scholarships, resources, supports and special programs for college students who have autism. The site offers tons of information to help students who have autism prepare for a successful college experience. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, September 8, 2008

Funding Autism Treatment

Funding Autism Treatment provides strategies and tips for finding financial assistance to pay for autism treatments, therapies, assessments and equipment. The site includes information about grants, financial assistance programs, government benefits, insurance, tax-advantaged accounts and other resources for funding autism treatment. Many of the funding strategies and resources described could be used to help fund treatment of other disabilities, medical conditions or illnesses. Sphere: Related Content

Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity

Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity provides financial assistance to Ontario residents under age 21 who have either a serious illness or a permanent disability. Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity assists with the costs of respite, developmental therapies, adaptive computer hardware and software, medical treatments that are not covered by government health plans or insurance, recreation that promotes a child’s involvement in the community, and educational programs, materials and instruction. Call (905) 852-1799 to obtain a request for assistance form.

Click here to make a donation to Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity. Sphere: Related Content

Lend A Hand Society Provides Emergency Financial Assistance to People with Disabilities

The Lend A Hand Society provides emergency assistance grants to people with disabilities in the Greater Boston area. Lend A Hand Society works with nonprofit community organizations to provide financial assistance for rent, utilities, medical supplies and equipment, eyeglasses and other necessities. Call (617) 338-5301 or email Lend A Hand Society for information on how to apply for an emergency financial assistance grant.

Donations may be made by sending a check to:

Lend A Hand Society
89 South Street, Suite 203
Boston, MA 02111 Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lenox Baker Special Assistance Fund

Easter Seals/UCP North Carolina provides one-time financial assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families who are residents of North Carolina or South Carolina through the Lenox Baker Special Assistance Fund. The fund provides assistance with the costs of equipment, medication and medical treatment. For further information contact Susan O’Neal at (800) 868-3787 ext. 119. Sphere: Related Content

Special Needs Learning and Therapy Software at 50% Discount

EnableMart offers Laureate Learning Systems software at a 50% discount on the retail price for parents of children who have autism and other special needs. Laureate Learning Systems publishes therapy and learning software for children and adults who have autism, language disorders, cognitive delays, developmental disabilities and other special needs. Parents of children who have autism or other special needs should call (888) 640-1999 to receive a discount when ordering Laureate Learning software from EnableMart. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Disaster Assistance for Indiana Residents with Disabilities

The Arc of Indiana is providing disaster assistance to people with disabilities who have been severely affected by floods and tornadoes this year. You may apply for assistance by contacting a local chapter of The Arc of Indiana, a local agency that provides services to individuals with disabilities, an IMPG case manager, an Area Agency on Aging or a district office of the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services.

Contributions can be made to The Arc of Indiana Disaster Relief Fund by mailing a check to:

The Arc of Indiana
Attention: Disaster Relief Fund
107 N. Pennsylvania Street
Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204 Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Resources for Families of People with Disabilities Affected by Natural Disasters

Here are some helpful resources for families of people who have autism, other disabilities or special needs prepare for and deal with the aftermath of natural disasters:

Stephen M. Shore has published a document about preparing people with autism and their supporters for natural disasters.

The Red Cross has prepared a booklet about disaster preparedness for people with disabilities.

Katrinadisability.info provides a collection of tips and information to prepare people with disabilities, caregivers and first responders to cope with natural disasters and other emergencies.

Family Village has compiled a list of links to hurricane relief resources for people with disabilities.

United Cerebral Palsy lists information, phone numbers and links for disaster relief assistance hotlines and organizations. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Financial Assistance for Families of People with Disabilities Who Have Been Affected by Hurricane Gustav and Other Natural Disasters

Financial assistance from government and private sources is available to families of people who have autism and other disabilities that have been affected by Hurricane Gustav or other natural disasters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides financial assistance to families that have been affected by natural disasters. FEMA provides assistance with the costs of temporary housing, home repairs, home replacement and home construction for families that have been displaced by a hurricane or other natural disaster. In addition, FEMA provides financial assistance for other necessary expenses and serious needs caused by a disaster. FEMA also provides crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, legal services and information about tax breaks for families that have survived a natural disaster.

Click on the links for information about financial assistance available from FEMA or to apply for disaster-related federal financial assistance. Check out FEMA’s helpful list of resources for people who have been affected by specific disasters.

AutismCares provides up to $1,500 in assistance to families that have survived a natural disaster. Mesa Angeles Foundation provides grants and loans to families that have critical financial needs as a result of a natural disaster or other crisis. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Special Needs Network Back to School Inclusion Event

The Special Needs Network, Inc. is hosting its 3rd Annual Back to School Inclusion Event from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 24, 2008, at the Ability First/Harry Mier Center, which is located at 8090 Crenshaw Boulevard in Inglewood, California. The purpose of the inclusion event is to give children who have disabilities an opportunity to interact with their typically developing peers in a social setting.

The event will feature activities for the entire family, including free dental and vision screenings, games, therapeutic music, dance and yoga, singing, sport circles, arts and crafts, sensory activities and a resource fair. There will also be giveaways of school supplies, backpacks and prizes. For more information, email events@specialneedsnetwork.net or call (323) 295-8358. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 22, 2008

Elsie S. Bellows Fund Assistive Technology Grants

The Elsie S. Bellows Fund provides funding for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) affiliates to purchase assistive technology devices for people who have disabilities. United Cerebral Palsy affiliates submit Bellows Fund applications to the UCP national office on behalf of disabled individuals. Bellows Fund grants can be used to purchase a variety of assistive technology products, including augmentative communication devices, environmental controls and computer equipment.

For information on how to apply for assistance from the Bellows Fund, contact your local UCP affiliate or Jack Schillinger. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Carolina Children’s Charity Grants for Children with Special Needs

Carolina Children’s Charity awards grants to children residing in the Lowcountry area of South Carolina who have a disability that is the result of a birth defect or disease. The grants can be used to pay for special equipment, medication, medical evaluation or testing, specialized summer camps and other similar expenses. Applications for Carolina Children’s Charity grants are accepted and reviewed throughout the year.

Click on the link to make a donation to Carolina Children’s Charity. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CafeMom is a Great Resource for Moms of Children Who Have Autism and Other Special Needs

Meet other moms with similar challenges and interests. Check out CafeMom today! CafeMom is a wonderful resource for moms of children who have autism and other disabilities. CafeMom is a community that offers moms of children with and without special needs an opportunity to meet, connect and share with other moms who have similar experiences and challenges. I am especially impressed by CafeMom's many vibrant, active and supportive groups for moms of children who have autism, as well as other disabilities and special needs.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Children with Special Needs (CSN) Fund Helps Michigan Families

The Children with Special Needs (CSN) Fund helps Michigan families provide for their children’s special health care needs when no other funding sources are available. The CSN Fund provides funding for expenses such as wheelchair ramps, van lifts and tie downs, air conditioners and electrical service upgrades to support specialized equipment. Click on the link to print an application and instructions. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Avery-Fuller-Welch Children’s Foundation

The Avery-Fuller-Welch Children’s Foundation provides grants to children who live in the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo. The grants can be used to pay for remedial education, special schooling, psychotherapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and adaptive equipment. For more information, call (415) 561-6540 ext. 206. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cloud County Community Trust Helps Kids with Special Needs

The Cloud County Community Trust helps the families that reside in Cloud County, Kansas, who have children under age 12 that have special needs with expenses that are not covered by insurance or other programs. For more information, call (785) 243-3211. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 14, 2008

South Dakota Statewide Family Support Program Helps Families of Children with Developmental Disabilities

The South Dakota Department of Human Services Statewide Family Support Program provides South Dakota families of children who have developmental disabilities with services and supports to help them meet their unique and varied needs. The Statewide Family Support Program assigns a family support coordinator to help each family identify and access services to meet their needs.

The program also provides a flexible pool of funding to assist families with extraordinary expenses, including but not limited to diapers, medications, special foods, recreational opportunities, special clothing, adaptive equipment, home modifications, vehicle modifications, respite care, family counseling, parent/sibling education and medical travel expenses. Clink on the link to obtain an application. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Massachusetts Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Assists Families of Children with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs

The Massachusetts Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (CICRF) reimburses Massachusetts families the cost of medical expenses that are not fully covered by insurance or other resources that exceed 10% of the family’s income (10% of the first $100,000 plus 15% of the additional income for families whose income exceeds $100,000).

CICRF reimburses families for a wide variety of eligible expenses ranging from payments to healthcare providers to travel expenses for out of state treatment. Click on the link to apply for assistance. Sphere: Related Content

New Jersey Department of Human Services Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Helps with Medical Expenses

The New Jersey Department of Human Services Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund will assist New Jersey families with the cost of medical expenses that are not fully covered by insurance or other resources that exceed 10% of the family’s income (10% of the first $100,000 plus 15% of the additional income for families whose income exceeds $100,000).

The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund helps families with a wide variety of medical expenses ranging from experimental medical treatment to medically related home modifications. To apply for assistance, click here or call 1-800-335-FUND. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kid One Transports Children to Better Health

Kid One Transport provides transportation to medical, dental and mental health care services to children and expectant mothers who live in communities across Alabama. Click on the link to apply for transportation services.

Click on the link if you would like to support the work of Kid One Transport. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home Options Program Helps Families Affected by Disabilities Become Homeowners

The Home Options Program provides first-time home buyers with up to $12,000 in purchase price assistance to buy a condominium, town house or single family home in Chicago. Families that have a household income of up to 80% of the median for area and that have a family member who has a developmental disability or a mobility impairment are eligible to apply to the program.

The program is administered by Community Service Options, Inc. For more information, contact Dennis Howard or call him at (773) 838-4616 Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Child Wellness Fair Helps Families of Kids with Special Needs

Child Wellness Fair helps families of kids with special needs who live in the Cincinnati area obtain vehicles, medical equipment, services and other necessities through its “If I Only Had a…” program. Child Wellness Fair also helps children with special needs acquire used medical equipment through its Second Home program. Click on the link to nominate a child or family in need. Sphere: Related Content

Achievable Helps Families Affected by Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Achievable offers a variety of programs to support the health, well-being, mobility and communication needs of low income people who have autism and developmental disabilities that live in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Achievable helps people with developmental disabilities gain mobility by providing vans, van adaptations, specialized wheelchairs and wheelchair adaptations.
Achievable helps people with developmental disabilities enhance their ability to communicate by providing adaptive equipment such as specialized computers and software, hearing aids and sensory integration tools.

Achievable helps people with developmental disabilities obtain modifications and supports to help them move more freely and independently within their homes such as ramps, enlarged entry ways, accessible bathrooms, ceiling lifts, stair lifts, specialized beds, special strollers and specialized wheelchair equipment.

Achievable also provides life necessities and emergency assistance of all types—including food, furniture, supplies, clothing, emergency medical attention and help with burial expenses—to children and adults with developmental disabilities.

To find out more about its programs, call (310) 258-4256 or send an email to info@achievable.org. Click on the link to make a donation to Achievable. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 8, 2008

Asperger’s Association of New England Grant Programs

The Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE) administers three grant programs for families of children who have autism spectrum disorders.

The Edwin Phillips Foundation Family Grants Program is open to families that reside in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, who have a child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or a closely related condition on the autism spectrum. Grants range from $50-$1,000.

The Doug Flute Jr. Foundation Family Grants Program is open to families that live anywhere in New England except Plymouth County, Massachusetts, who have a child who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or a closely related condition on the autism spectrum and who meet the criteria for financial need. Grants range from $50-$500.

The AANE Family Grants Program is open to families that live in New England, have a child who has been diagnosed with Asperger’sSyndrome and meet the criteria for financial need. Grants range from $50-$500.

All of the grants may be used for anything that directly improves the life of a child on the autism spectrum.

Click on the link to learn how you can support AANE. Sphere: Related Content

The Christian Fund for the Disabled Helps Meet the Spiritual and Practical Needs of People with Disabilities

The Christian Fund for the Disabled provides grants to help people who have disabilities pay for services, equipment and treatments that are not covered by private insurance or other funding sources. The Christian Fund for the Disabled also provides scholarships to attend Christian colleges or seminaries, funding to attend seminars or conferences with a disability focus, and financial assistance for disabled individuals to obtain education or training to equip them to earn a living. The maximum grants available are $2,500 for U.S. residents and $1,000 for international applicants. Click on the link for an application.

In addition to providing financial assistance to people who have disabilities, the Christian Fund for the Disabled connects disabled people with churches, works to raise disability awareness in churches and communities and trains Christians in disability ministry. The Christian Fund for the Disabled is a program of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center.

Click here if you would like to make a donation to support Joni and Friends. Sphere: Related Content

Helping Hand Foundation Grants for Kansas and Missouri Residents

The Helping Hand Foundation provides one-time grants to residents of the fifteen counties that comprise the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area who are facing financial difficulties and do not qualify for other forms of financial assistance. Click on the links to learn about their funding criteria or to request assistance.

Click here to make a donation to the Helping Hand Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Challenged America Foundation Offers Grants to Children with Physical Challenges

The Challenged America Foundation will award grants of up to $500 to purchase products or services to enhance the lives of children who have physical disabilities. Children under age 18 who have physical challenges are eligible to apply for the grants.

Click here if you are interested in volunteering or making a donation to The Challenged America Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NTI Connects Disabled Americans with Work-at-Home Jobs

The National Telecommuting Institute, Inc. (NTI) is a nonprofit organization that specializes in connecting individuals with disabilities who need or prefer to work from home with home-based employment opportunities. NTI either hires people with disabilities to work on contracts it holds with government and private-sector employers, or matches them with employers who hire teleworkers directly. Click on the link to learn how to apply. Sphere: Related Content

Sunshine Foundation Grants Wishes to Children with Autism

The Sunshine Foundation grants wishes to children who have severe to profound autism whose family income is below $75,000. Click on the links to refer a child for a wish or to help the Sunshine Foundation make a child’s dream come true. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chhavi Therapy Reimbursement Program

The Chhavi Therapy Reimbursement Program is a project of Jeena, a nonprofit organization that helps families of children who have autism and other developmental disorders in Silicon Valley, California and in India.

The purpose of the Chhavi Therapy Reimbursement Program is to help families explore, continue or increase the intensity of treatments, therapies and other services that are not funded by insurance companies, school districts or other organizations. The program will pay the cost of therapeutic services for developmentally disabled children whose parents are facing financial hardship for up to one year. For more information about the program, contact Beejal Gajjar. Sphere: Related Content

Upromise is a Promising Resource for College Savings

Ideally, saving for their children's college education should be a top priority for all parents. In reality, most parents whose children have autism or other disabilities have extraordinary expenses for diagnostic evaluations, physician visits, therapies, supplements, special diets and adaptive equipment that can easily overwhelm a family budget and make saving for college seem all but impossible. That's where upromise.com comes in!

Upromise is a free service that allows parents to earn money for their child's college education by doing things they already do: making purchases at your favorite grocery and drugstores; shopping in stores and online; eating out at restaurants; booking travel, hotel reservations and car rentals; and buying and selling homes. Whenever you make a purchase from a participating store or service, you get up to 25% of the amount of your purchase credited to your Upromise account. Grandparents, other family members and friends can join and contribute their Upromise savings to your child. You can even sweep your Upromise savings into a participating 529 plan and let your child's college savings grow tax-free.

To begin earning money to help send a child you love to college, just follow these three simple steps:
1. Sign up for a free account a Upromise.
2. Register your grocery and drugstore loyalty cards, as well as the credit or debit cards you use to make purchases, to your Upromise account.
3. Continue to shop as you normally do.

You will be amazed how quickly your child's college savings can grow through Upromise.
Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 4, 2008

Scholarships for College Students Who Have Autism

The following organizations offer scholarships to college students who have autism and other disabilities:

AHEADD offers book scholarships in the amount of $500 to qualified students who have autism or Asperger Syndrome. Click here for details on how to apply. The deadline for applications is August 15, 2008.

The Autism Society of America administers the CVS/All Kids Can Scholars Program. The program awards scholarships in the amount of $1,000 to qualified individuals with autism to pursue an accredited postsecondary educational or vocational program of study.

The Schwallie Family Scholarship Program provides scholarships in the amount of $3,000 for qualified students who have autism or Asperger Syndrome to attend college, a university or a trade, technical or vocational school. The application period for Fall 2009 will open on January 2, 2009.

The Special People in Need Foundation awards scholarships in varying amounts to college students who have disabilities. For more information, send a letter of inquiry to:

Special People in Need
Attn: Irene Peterson
500 West Madison Street
Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60661-2511 Sphere: Related Content

Recommended Books About Preparing Students Who Have Autism for College

The following books provide information and insight about preparing students who have autism for college:





Sphere: Related Content

Preparing Students with Autism for a Successful College Experience

College is definitely a viable option for many people who have autism and related disorders. Success is certainly attainable for college students with autism who receive the support they need in order to thrive academically, functionally and socially.

A few postsecondary education institutions, such as Marshall University, have programs specifically designed to support students with autism spectrum disorders. Others are able to offer assistance through campus disability and student services offices. The Organization for Autism Research has even produced a video to help college professors understand the needs of students with autism. In addition, organizations such as Achieving in Higher Education with Autism/Developmental Disabilities (AHEADD) and College Living Experience (CLE) assist students who have autism and other disabilities hone their academic, social and independent living skills.

The transition to college life will likely be more challenging for students with autism than for their neurotypical counterparts. The key to making this process as smooth and seamless as possible is to begin preparing for college as soon as possible in your child’s academic career.

Here are some tips for preparing your child who has autism for a successful college experience:

1. Incorporate college planning into your child’s IEP process as soon as possible.
2. Make developing the academic, social and independent living skills necessary to succeed in college part of your child’s transition plan.
3. Discuss college and career options with your child early and often.
4. Play an active role in helping your child choose a college home.
5. Prepare thoroughly for visits to prospective colleges with your child. You will want to inform admissions counselors about your child’s unique individuals needs, arrange to sit in on classes and spend the night in a dorm, inquire about the availability of peer mentoring and determine what services and supports the institution is prepared to provide in order to meet your child’s needs.

A comprehensive assessment of your child’s needs, a holistic approach to college planning and thorough preparation for the college transition process will help make moving on to college a positive, productive and successful experience. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kaitlin Marie Bell Foundation Grants Help Children with Special Needs

The Kaitlin Marie Bell Foundation provides grants to support the needs of medically and physically challenged children and young people up to age 21. Kaitlin Marie Bell Foundation Grants can be used to procure equipment or services that improve the quality of life for children with disability. You can apply for assistance or make a donation to the Kaitlin Marie Bell Foundation online. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 2, 2008

1-800-CHARITY CARS Provides Free Cars for Families Who Need Transportation to Access Medical Care

1-800-CHARITY CARS provides free vehicles to people who need a vehicle for transportation but are otherwise unable to obtain one. Families that need a car in order to access medical treatment or healthcare services are eligible to apply.

Please contact 1-800-CHARITY CARS if you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the organization. Sphere: Related Content

The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project Provides Grants to Families of Children Who Have Special Needs

The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project provides grants to families of children who have physical special needs, regardless of what the underlying disease or disability is. The grants can be used to pay for products or services that help parents meet their children’s special needs and, thereby, enhance the quality of life for the entire family.

Click on the links to learn about the grant application process or to make a donation to The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 1, 2008

Brent Woodall Foundation Grants to Families of Children Who Have Autism and Other Special Needs

The Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children provides grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to help families substantially improve their caregiving situation. The foundation also offers a variety of programs to support child who have special needs and their families.

Click on the links to learn about programs offered by the Brent Woodall Foundation or to support the foundation’s work. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mesa Angels Foundation Provides Financial Assistance

Mesa Angels Foundation provides grants and loans to people facing a critical financial need due to extraordinary circumstances, such as medical emergencies, natural disasters and other life-changing events. Information on how to apply for assistance is available here.

Please contact Mesa Angels Foundation if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Hand Foundation Helps Families Pay Their Children's Healthcare Expenses

The First Hand Foundation provides funding to pay for healthcare expenses of children when insurance and other resources have been exhausted. First Hand Foundation will help pay the costs of clinical procedures, medicine, therapy, assistive technology, care devices and vehicle modifications. The foundation will also help families who must travel for their child to receive treatment with the costs of lodging, food, gas, parking and transportation.

First Hand Foundation reviews requests for assistance monthly. The foundation has spent over $7 million to assist 48,226 children from 57 countries to date. Click on the link to support the mission of the First Hand Foundation. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation Grants Provide Assistance with Treatment Costs

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) grants help pay for health-related services that have the potential to improve a child’s clinical condition or enhance the quality of their life that are not fully covered by a commercial health benefit plan. UHCCF’s assistance enables children to receive medically necessary services without their families assuming large amounts of debt.

UHCCF grants pay for a variety of medical services, therapies, assistive technology devices and adaptive products. You may apply for a grant or make a contribution to UHCCF online. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tips for Applying for SSI to Fund Autism Treatment

Here are some tips for applying for SSI to fund autism treatment:

1. Document how your child’s disability affects his or her ability to participate in the activities of daily life.
2. Have copies of your child’s medical records, evaluations, treatment plans, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), Individualized Education Program (IEP) and therapy reports readily available.
3. Compile the names and contact information for your child’s pediatrician, neurologist, therapists, teachers, social workers and case managers.
4. Obtain letters from medical professionals, therapists and service providers who are familiar with your child.
5. Keep copies of paycheck stubs, W-2s, income tax returns, utility bills, medical bills, therapy bills, insurance statements, rental contracts, mortgage statements, bank statements and other financial records.
6. When you visit a Social Security Administration office, arrive early and prepare for a wait.
7. Make sure you take copies of all necessary documents with you.
8. Take something to read, a crossword puzzle, a small craft project or some paperwork you need to complete with you to help you pass the time.
9. If you take your child with you, bring along a few favorite toys and/or books.Bring snacks for your child. Be prepared to step outside the office when your child wants to eat a snack because many Social Security Administration offices do not allow eating or drinking.
10. Keep a log that contains the name, contact information, date of contact and a summary of your conversations with Social Security Administration personnel. Sphere: Related Content

Aubrey Rose Foundation Helps with Medical Bills for Sick Kids

The Aubrey Rose Hollenkamp Foundation helps pay the outstanding medical bills that insurance won’t cover for seriously ill children. Mail completed grant applications to:

Aubrey Rose Foundation
Grant Request
4480 Oakville Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45211

Click on the link to donate. Sphere: Related Content

Building Blocks for Kids Foundation Offers Grants to Children with Cincinnati Ties

Building Blocks for Kids Foundation provides assistance with the costs of treatment, communication devices or other adaptive equipment, and expenses associated with temporarily relocating to receive treatment. Children under 18 who are from the greater Cincinnati area, who have a close relative who lives in the area or who have a relationship with a local organization are eligible for assistance.

Download an application packet and mail the completed documents to:

Building Blocks for Kids
7577 Central Parke Blvd.
Suite 131
Mason, OH 45040

Click here to make a donation or to volunteer. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Family Stipends for Chicago Parents of Young Children with Special Needs

Chicago residents who are parents of children under age 6 who have autism or other special needs can apply for a stipend up of to $200 from STARNET Region V. The stipend, which is awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis, reimburses parents for the costs of attending disability-related workshops or conferences within Illinois. The stipends can be used to pay for conference registration fees, lodging and/or travel.

For more information, click here or call (773) 553-5593. Sphere: Related Content

Disabled Children’s Relief Fund

The Disabled Children’s Relief Fund (DCRF) provides grants to help pay for therapy, assistive devices and adaptive equipment for children with disabilities. In the past, grants have been used to pay for auditory integration therapy, occupational therapy and assistive technology for children who have autism. Applications for this year’s grants are due by September 30, 2008.

Donations by check can be sent to:

Disabled Children’s Relief Fund
P.O. Box 89
Freeport, NY 11520

Federal employees may contribute to DCRF through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) by selecting #0862. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, July 21, 2008

National Autism Association Offers a Helping Hand

The National Autism Association Helping Hand Program provides grants of up to $1,500 to families of children who have autism that are in need of financial help. The grants can be used to pay for biomedical treatments, supplements and therapeutic services.

Click here to make a donation to the National Autism Association. Sphere: Related Content

REACT Foundation Family Scholarships

The REACT (the acronym stands for Resources for Autistic Children’s Therapy) Foundation provides scholarships to help parents whose children have autism pay for ABA, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Residents of Orange County, California are eligible to apply for the grant program. Click here for more information about REACT Foundation Family Scholarships. Applications for the autism family scholarship grant are available by clicking here.

You can make a donation to REACT Foundation by clicking on the link on its Web site. Sphere: Related Content

National Autism Association of Pennsylvania Helping Hand Mini-Grant

The National Autism Association of Pennsylvania (NAA-PA) is accepting applications for its 2008 Helping Hand Program. Grants of up to $300 will be awarded to Central Pennsylvania families to pay for autism interventions not covered by insurance or medical assistance. Click here for a grant application. Completed applications must be postmarked by September 30, 2008.

Click here to make a donation to NAA-PA. Sphere: Related Content

ASCONN Mini-Grants

The Autism Society of Connecticut (ASCONN) offers mini-grants of up to $1,000 for people who have autism, parents and other family members of people who have autism parents and individuals who work with people who have autism. The mini-grants can be used for purchasing safety and security equipment, training personnel in proper physical management techniques and educating community responders about autism.

Click here for information about donating to the Autism Society of Connecticut. Sphere: Related Content

Pennsylvania Autism Mini -Grant Program

The Bureau of Autism Services of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare offers mini-grants of $500. The grants can be used to pay for a variety of services and supports for Pennsylvania families affected by autism. Click here for more information about the min-grants. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Can End Grant Fund

The Autism Can End Grant Fund is a project of Everyday Miracles, a nonprofit organization that works to strengthen, financially assist and inform families and communities about children with autism. Grants are available to Michigan families who have a child with autism. Grant applications are accepted twice per year: in January and September. Grant awards are made in April and November.

Click here to learn about fundraising events for Everyday Miracles. Sphere: Related Content

Autism Family Resources Grants

Autism Family Resources was founded by the parents of a young man who has autism to help other parents pay for items not covered by insurance that enhance their quality of life. Autism Family Resources awards a maximum of $500 to families on a one-time basis. The funds can be used to pay for therapy equipment, safety equipment or respite services. Information about the Autism Family Resources Grant Program can be found here.

Click here to learn how you can make a donation to Autism Family Resources. Sphere: Related Content

ACT Today! Grant Program

ACT Today! (short for Autism Care and Treatment Today!) awards grants ranging from $100 to $5,000 to help families pay for the cost of effective autism treatments and assessments. You can learn more about the ACT Today! Grant Program on the organization’s Web site.

Donations may be made to ACT Today! through its Web site. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 20, 2008

AutismCares Family Support Awards

AutismCares is a consortium of leading autism organizations who have united to support individuals with autism and their families during natural disasters and other crises. The consortium is comprised of Autism Speaks, the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation, The Help Group, TACA, Talk Autism, Unlocking Autism, Safe Minds and SARRC.

AutismCares provides Family Support Awards of up to $1,500 to help families coping with autism who have experienced a natural disaster; a death, critical illness or injury of an immediate family member; a loss of home; or a loss of job. The funds may be used to pay for housing, utilities, insurance premiums, prescriptions, daycare, automobile repairs, funeral expenses or other approved items. Eligible families may apply for an AutismCares Family Support Award online.

Donations may be made to AutismCares via the organization’s Web site. Sphere: Related Content

A.N.G.E.L. Inc. Autism Grants

A.N.G.E.L. Inc. (the acronym stands for Autism Network, Guidance Education and Life) offers grants to pay for services on behalf of children with autism spectrum disorders who are Wisconsin residents. The maximum grant amount awarded to a recipient is $500.

Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis. The deadline for third quarter 2008 grants is August 1, 2008. Grant applications are available on the organization’s Web site. Click here to make a donation to help A.N.G.E.L. Inc. continue to support our community.

Thanks to Marcia Biordi Brown for submitting this resource! Sphere: Related Content

Bridges for Autism Foundation Grants

Bridges for Autism Foundation, founded by Marcia and David Brown, awards grants to Illinois families with children on the autism spectrum. Grants from the foundation may be used to pay for therapeutic services and assistive technology. Grant amounts vary.

Bridges for Autism Foundation makes grant awards semiannually. During its last grant cycle, Bridges for Autism Foundation awarded $12,000 in grants to 10 families. The next round of grants will be awarded by September 30, 2008. The application deadline is August 15, 2008, so mark your calendars and be sure to get your grant applications in on time. Previous grant recipients are welcome to reapply. Grant applications are available on the foundation’s Web site.

In addition to awarding grants to families affected by autism, Bridges for Autism Foundation has designed a provider network which is the first of its kind in Illinois and perhaps in the U.S. The foundation invites therapy providers to join the network and posts their information on its Web site. Families can then search the Bridges for Autism Foundation Web site for available providers. Each provider in the network discounts its rates to Bridges for Autism Foundation grant recipients so their grant dollars can stretch farther.

Bridges for Autism Foundation has a goal of creating a resource center where parents can obtain therapy and participate in support groups, and both parents and professionals can participate in trainings and educational programs.

Bridges for Autism Foundation is growing rapidly and is currently seeking to hire a grant writer and a professional to solicit corporate sponsorships. The foundation is also in need of additional volunteers.

Bridges for Autism Foundation is a wonderful resource for Illinois families that are affected by autism. Click here to make a donation to help Bridges for Autism Foundation continue to support our community. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FoggyRock is the Autism Community’s Answer to MySpace

Founded by Steve and Shannon Johnson, who are the parents of a child who has autism, FoggyRock is a social site where people affected by autism can connect. It offers members of the autism community an opportunity to create personal pages, communicate with other members, make friends, share information, start or join a group or participate in forums. Sphere: Related Content

Funding Autism Treatment with Medicare

Medicare is a national health insurance program managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare coverage is available to people under age 65 who have disabilities. Disabled people who receive SSDI for 24 months are automatically enrolled in Medicare.

Medicare has four parts. Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps pay for hospital care, care in a skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice care. Part B (Medical Insurance)helps pay for doctor visits and other medical services and supplies not covered by hospital insurance. Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) is available to people who have coverage under Medicare Part A and Part B in some areas. Part C coverage is provided by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. Part D (Prescription Insurance) helps pay for prescription medications.

States have program that assist Medicare recipients who have low incomes and limited resources with the cost of Medicare premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and the cost of prescription drugs. To learn more about how to obtain assistance with these costs through Medicare Savings Programs, a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or State Pharmacy Assistance Programs (SPAPs), check out Medicare & You 2008 or call 1-800-MEDICARE. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Sphere: Related Content

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