Intellectual and other developmental disabilities is a general classification which includes the classification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a general term used to describe a group of complex development brain disorders which cause significant, life-long social, communication and behavioral challenges. With the right services and supports, individuals diagnosed with ASD can lead full, healthy and meaningful lives. There is an urgent need to address concerns about access to services given that the need for services is rapidly increasing.
It is The Arc New York’s position that:
- Individuals diagnosed with ASD are included in the general category of “Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” and must be provided the same services such as early intervention, inclusionary education, housing, day services and employment opportunities equally in the way that is appropriate and accessible to their specific needs such as those typically provided to individuals who have intellectual and other disabilities.
- The rules, definitions and regulations under the New York State Education Laws, the Insurance Laws and Medicaid eligibility related to individuals diagnosed with ASD must provide eligibility and accessibility to such services.
- The education and service networks in New York State must be encouraged and supported to develop strong diagnostic resources to accurately identify those individuals with ASD and their needs for services, treatment and interventions.
- The Arc New York Chapters must establish demonstrated evidenced-based treatment interventions for these individuals, especially supports for appropriate behavioral interventions.
- People who have been diagnosed with ASD must be able to access the advocacy and protection services currently available to people who have other developmental disabilities.
- Research must be provided to study the diagnostic and treatment models which most effectively help individuals on the ASD.
- Programs and initiatives to support individuals with ASD must be adequately funded to meet the growing demand for appropriate supports and services.
- Supports and services created for individuals with ASD must be person-centered and address the unique needs of each individual.
- Educational and supportive services must be available to local law enforcement first responders to appropriately recognize and intervene with individuals with ASD when involved as a victim or alleged target of a criminal investigation.
- Individuals with I/DD should have access to identification cards issued by OPWDD which include their name, address and additional information – including diagnosis – which could help first responders interact with and communicate with people with ASD