New Hampshire State Plan to Improve Supports and Services for Individuals with ASD/DD and Their Families
Through the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, referred to as the Autism CARES Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau awarded two year planning grants to 4 states to develop comprehensive state plans to guide the next steps in supporting children with autism and their families. New Hampshire was the recipient of one of these planning grants.
The NH State Plan to Improve Supports and Services for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum and with Other Related Developmental Disabilities and their Families, referred to as the NH State Plan for ASD/DD, is the culmination of the vision, passion and effort of a committed group of planners and stakeholders.
The NH Statewide Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Needs Assessment Report is the result of significant effort by a committed group of stakeholders. The effort began in 2012 with a statewide survey made possible through the work of Helena Sung an intern supported by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center’s Graduate Student Internship Program. The next phase of the Needs Assessment primarily took place in 2014. The vision and design was the result of a truly collaborative Core Planning Group and the process was guided by the Needs Assessment Workgroup, and the NH Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Position Papers developed by LEND Trainees
On March 23, 2015, a focus group meeting was held with clinic coordinators from across the state. These individuals work at diagnostic clinics geared toward evaluating young children with a question of autism. The goal of this meeting was to gather their insights in order to inform the state plan.
It is critical for health providers and advocates to have an understanding of where we, as a state, stand in the wake of insurance coverage for those who are diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. Health insurance is a key to improved health and reduced stress. In New Hampshire, the Affordable Care Act has brought along significant changes, though more work remains to be completed in order to ensure equality in coverage. There are many faces of insurance in New Hampshire and the options for those with ASD are varied as well.
New Hampshire stakeholders have actively been engaged in a variety of initiatives over the last 10 years that has served as solid groundwork for the development of an impactful state plan for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder and other related developmental disabilities. This project, supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a State Planning Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities is a collaborative effort between NHDHHS, Special Medical Services, NH Family Voices, the NH Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Child Health Services and NH Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND).
These effort support NH in the development of a comprehensive, measurable state plan that addresses early screening; coordination of family-centered services through a medical home; ASD/DD public and provider awareness; organization of community based services for children and youth with ASD/DD; transition from the pediatric to the adult health care system; adequate health insurance and financing of services; and unmet health needs of children and youth with ASD and DD. For an overview of this project click on the orientation presentation on the left..