Sunday, April 18, 2010

Autism Challenges American Science to Seek Cure

Kind of broad, but does talk about a lot of the science of the brain and give the most recent stat and shows the progression in diagnosis in 20 years.  Wowza...  And McDonnell wants to make cuts now.

Autism is a brain disorder, typically diagnosed when a child is 2 or 3. Among Americans, it has skyrocketed 600 percent over the last two decades from 1 in 1,500 kids in the 1990's to 1 in 110 kids today and 1 in 70 boys. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I think Gov. McDonnell hates my son... he wants to take services again

Think twice if you are planning on bringing a child into the world that will cost this state any money.  That is the message that "pro-life" Bob McDonnell sends.  Really, I thought the budget process was over.  He really seems to hate these kids.  (Before people make this partisan, Kaine showed them no love either, with what he threw as he rolled out the door.)  He wants to amend the budget and undo everything the General Assembly did for Community Based Services.  Take 250 IFDDS slots.  Autism isn't real?  Diagnosis hasn't gone up?  What?  I am so angry right now I can't even see straight.  I need community based services for Jimmy.  Virginia has no infrastructure to institutionlize him and that isn't what I want for him.  I want him with me.  Was he to be taken out and shot when he was diagnosed with autism?  Managed care?  Managed care was Kaiser... Kaiser said no OT, he had no skills to begin with, no PT for the same reason, speech for a half an hour a week when you get off the six month waiting list (for a child that couldn't speech), and no behavioral therapy because legally we don't have to.  He wants to switch to managed care model at the behest of lobbyists because it is a for profit model that lines the pockets of insurance companies and other providers.  It does nothing for people with disabilities.  Call your delegates this weekend... you can find them through the ARC's website.  Even if you aren't affected personally, make the time to make the call for Jimmy and the children and adults in Virginia who need these services as they are. 

The General Assembly passed the 2010-2010 Budget on March 15, 2010. This week, Governor McDonnell proposed a number of amendments to the 2010-2012 Budget. The General Assembly will now meet for a reconvened "veto" session THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21st at 12pm to vote on these amendments, finalizing the budget process.

There are two VERY serious concerns about Governor McDonnell's proposed amendments.
CONCERN #1: Amendments allow FMAP funds to be redirected
The Governor's proposed amendments give him the authority to use new federal Medicaid funding (FMAP) for items other than the restorations of community-based services that were included in the General Assembly budget. Since the language requiring use of FMAP funds for these restorations has been removed, this action essentially leaves many critical services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities "up in the air".
What this means to YOU--
ALL of the restorations to community-based services are now in jeopardy, including:

250 new ID Waivers for individuals/families on the ID Waiver waiting list

Elimination of the proposed 2/3 cut to respite services

Elimination of the proposed 5% cut to HCBS Waiver provider reimbursement rates

Elimination of proposed freeze on HCBS Waiver enrollment

Monthly income for HCBS Waiver eligibility would not be reduced from 300% SSI to 250% SSI

Elimination of proposed cut to Assistive Technology and Environmental Modifications

CONCERN #2: Amendment mandates "managed care" for all HCBS Waivers
The Governor proposed an amendment mandating the "managed care" model for all home and community based waivers (i.e. using insurance companies to coordinate/authorize care). The managed care model is used to "reduce and control costs" of services.
What this means to YOU-- Based on what has been reported by advocates in other states, it is believed that moving to this model would have a detrimental impact on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the following ways:

There will be "caps" or limits on HCBS Services.

People with significant disabilities whose support needs exceed caps could be at increased risk of institutionalization.

Funding for services/supports could be redirected to administrative costs/profits for insurance companies.

Individuals/families could experience difficulty accessing/navigating supports and services.

More information about these proposed amendments can be accessed on Governor McDonnell's website.
The bottom line: In order to defeat proposed amendments that are harmful to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities - we need a simple majority in the House of Delegates OR Senate to vote NO to these amendments on Wednesday!
Please take the time to help those on community based waivers keep the services that they have the way they have them.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

To tell you how things are going...

Yes, I got busy again...

And I do have a lot to say about my trip to UVA.  But it will have to wait.

That case of shingles that I had.  The one that wasn't suppose to be communicable to my kids who had the chicken pox vaccine....

Jimmy was sent home with the chicken pox.  Took him to the doctor.  He didn't confirm.  Said it wasn't.  Yet.  Said it might develop.  Might now.  We are starting antivirals now.

My poster Chuck is looking like one of the wisest men on the planet about now.

Jacob shows no signs, but my spouse has never had the disease nor the vaccine.