Autism Plan for Georgia

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The Autism Plan for Georgia Collaborative Partnership™

In partnership with Georgia State University’s Center for Leadership in Disabilities, the Autism Society of Georgia is proud to have provided a grant to enable the Autism Plan for Georgia’s delivery to individuals and families living with the challenges of autism spectrum disorders. The Autism Society of Georgia in support of all individuals, families and communities throughout Georgia counties impacted by Autism is taking a leadership position to deliver a comprehensive plan of action focused on the support and implementation of the Autism Plan for Georgia. Please help support that effort.

Vision

Our vision for Georgia is that high-quality, family and person-centered, comprehensive, and coordinated systems of services and supports are accessible and available to all children, youth and adults with autism and related disorders. These services and supports are community-based, geographically convenient, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and are designed to assist children to reach their full potential and improve their quality of life. These systems require financial support from federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector, which are more likely to be provided when the community understands their importance, views them as cost effective, and feels that they are being managed responsibly and transparently.

Structure

We have organized this plan to address ten areas of activity that emerged from discussions with families, providers, and policy-makers; review of historical documents and related planning efforts in Georgia; the research literature; and examination of autism plans from other states. These ten areas include:

  • Area 1:  Early Identification & Screening
  • Area 2:  Referral & Diagnosis
  • Area 3:  Medical, Behavioral Health & Dental Services
  • Area 4:  Family Support
  • Area 5:  Early Intervention & Preschool Services
  • Area 6:  Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Area 7:  Community Services & Supports
  • Area 8:  Transition from Youth to Adult Systems
  • Area 9:  Adult Services & Supports
  • Area 10:  Emergency Preparedness & First Responders

In addition to the ten areas identified, five areas emerged as the foundational supports of a comprehensive Autism Plan that cut across many of the areas. The foundational areas are Workforce, Awareness, Informational Resources, Finances, and Policy. The foundational supports were considered in developing recommendations for each area.

Note: In the plan we have elected to use the term ‘autism’ to include autism spectrum disorders and related developmental disabilities.

Please click here to view the plan and its details.

Georgia Autism Plan Foundations

The Georgia Autism Plan is based on five foundational supports that cut across many of the areas. The following foundational supports were considered in developing recommendations for each area of Plan.

  • Workforce refers to increasing the number of professionals who are competent and knowledgeable about serving and supporting children, youth and adults with autism and their families. Professional representation includes Developmental Pediatricians, Family Physicians, Therapist (Occupational, Physical, Speech and Language), and Teachers.
  • Awareness refers to knowledge and recognition of autism as a developmental disability, the characteristics of autism, and available services and supports within the autism community.
  • Informational Resources refers to documents, web services, or other knowledge bases that exist for the purpose of connecting youth and adults with autism, their families and community members with needed services and supports.
  • Finances refer to the method funding for supports and services utilized by children, youth and adults with autism and their families which can include private or public insurance and state, local or private sources.
  • Policy refers to any state legislation, statue or code impacting the health, well-being, and quality of life of children, youth and adults with autism and their families.