Article written by:
Sheri Weissman, LCSW, C-ASWCM
Director of Autism Services, The Coordinating Center
During Autism Awareness month, The Coordinating Center’s Autism Waiver Services team has been very busy helping families from the registry complete the application process while also assisting currently enrolled families with their varying needs.
The Maryland’s Home and Community Based Services Waiver for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“Autism Waiver”), allows eligible children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to receive specific waiver services and certain Medicaid services to support them in their homes and communities. At present, there are approximately 5,300 individuals on the Waiver registry “waitlist,” with capacity to only serve up to a maximum of 1,200 individuals statewide.
The Coordinating Center (“The Center”) is contracted by local school systems to provide service coordination for more than 174 students on the Autism Waiver in Dorchester, Harford, Howard, and Worcester counties. The Center’s Autism Waiver Services team members frequently participate on committees and workgroups to help inform the Autism Waiver services, policies, and procedures. The team works collaboratively with other programs at The Center when they have clients with autism, and given the limited number of individuals served by the Waiver, the team also helps parents and caregivers who call in search of services and resources that they could access. Our Director of Autism Services, Sheri Weissman has participated in panel discussions for parents of newly enrolled Waiver participants.