The Children’s Autism Waiver (CAW) offers children and families living with autism a systematic, comprehensive treatment approach designed to maximize the developmental potential of very young children with autism. The CAW requires a hefty time commitment from families while providing intensive training and funding for participating children.
The Children’s Autism Waiver is designed to serve young children aged from 15 months through seven years who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and who have deficits in adaptive behaviors identified through assessments. Services are designed to improve skills in receptive and expressive communication, social interaction and activities of daily living, while reducing or eliminating the inappropriate or problematic behaviors often associated with autism, using training techniques based on applied behavioral analysis.
To be eligible for the autism waiver, children must be:
- Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Have qualifying scores on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale – 2nd Edition as well as the Temperament Atypical Behavior Scales for children under the age of three.
- Be deemed eligible between the ages of 15 months and before their fifth birthday
Eligible children will be placed on the waiver’s waiting list. Parents of children who qualify for the waiver must agree to follow through with assigned objectives as outlined in the plan of care as a precondition to enrollment and continued participation – this is a serious time commitment requiring heavy parental involvement.
Waiver services include:
- case management from a Family Support Specialist
- program design and monitoring
- children’s autism training
- adaptive equipment/environmental modifications
- speech, occupational, or physical therapy
- Medicaid card for the child (parental income waived)
A review of the literature and research on autism indicates that long-term, lasting increases in appropriate behaviors and decreases in inappropriate behaviors are possible with intensive early intervention training using on or more of these evidence-based treatment methods:
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Discrete Trial Training
- Pivotal Response Training
- Learning Experiences: An Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Parents