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Combating Autism: Grant Programs

Vermont Department of Health

108 Cherry St., P.O. Box 70
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-865-1324
Fax: 802-863-7635
carol.hassler@ahs.state.vt.us


Problem: The population of individuals with ASD is growing at a rate of 16-20% a year in VT. The state has developed a State Autism Plan to address the needs of individuals with ASD and their families across the lifespan. Capacity-building and quality improvements are needed to address priority goals of the State Autism Plan.

Goals/Objectives & Methodology:

(1) Partnerships are demonstrated between professionals and families of children and youth with ASD/DD, in the project and in all aspects of the system of care;

Project is overseen by Council with at least 50% parent/individual members
Parent participation in 80% of activities is supported by stipends for time and travel

(2) Children and youth with ASD/DD have access to a high quality medical home;

Medical homes use algorithm from positive screen, to diagnosis, to early intervention
Medical homes use health care management checklists for ASD and other DD
Medical homes collaborate with community-based teams for children with ASD/DD

(3) children and youth with ASD/DD have access to adequate health insurance and financing of services needed

Current resources, service models, and unmet needs are identified
New flexible service models and funding mechanisms for them are created

(4) Early and continuous screening for ASD/DD by Medical Homes expands, leading to timely evaluation, diagnosis and appropriate treatment;

Developmental screening practice improvement project reaches all medical homes
Children who are English Language Learners are screened effectively
Staff and parents are mentored in evidence-based interventions for children < 6

(5) Community-based services are organized for easy use by families;

Autism awareness activities are supported statewide
Family organization is supported in ASD resource website and phone support;

(6) Transition to adult health care, work and independence is successful.

medical homes’ capacity to provide care for young adults with ASD/DD expands
Best practice guidelines for transition are developed by and for youth and providers.


Coordination: Title V MCH, Vermont Family Network, UVM LEND, UVM UCEDD, UVM VCHIP, VT Department of Education, VT Agency of Human Services Integrated Family Services Initiative, AHS departments, AAP-VT, AAFP-VT, Blueprint for Health initiative.

Evaluation: By UVM VCHIP, to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the project.

Annotation: The purpose of VT’s project is to infuse needed capacity and quality into the core elements of the system infrastructure upon which implementation of the state’s autism plan is building. Core elements include leadership by parents, Medical Home, screening leading to intervention, financing, accessible community services, and transition to adult health care, elements which will self-sustain past the grant period.