Welcome, Case Managers!
Autism New Jersey is proud to announce our partnership with the NJ Department of Health’s Special Child Health Services (SCHS) Case Management Units (CMU) as the designated Autism Resource Specialist.
Autism New Jersey’s 800.4.AUTISM Helpline specialists are available to collaborate with SCHS Case Managers as they support children with autism and their families and address their educational, treatment, and service navigation needs.
Autism New Jersey staff are excited to work closely with professionals as compassionate and resourceful as SCHS’s Case Managers. It is our hope that our work together strengthens New Jersey’s autism community and empowers SCHS’s clients and their families.
Connect with Us
SCHS Case Managers can reach a helpline specialist on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m by calling 800.4.AUTISM. Voice mail messages are regularly returned during the week within 24 hours. For best results, leave a description of your availability for a return call along with an explanation of your issue.
SCHS Case Managers can also email any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT: Including “SCHS Case Management” in the subject line of an email inquiry will enable our helpline specialists to correctly identify and prioritize each SCHS Case Manager message.
Our website also has a wealth of information. Case Managers can visit our list of articles and search by topic, browse our landing pages for specific age-related concerns, and download publications for free.
Topics of Interest
We provide Case Mangers with the support to understand and address their clients’ educational, behavioral, and social-emotional concerns and assist them in guiding families to make informed decisions regarding their child’s needs.
Our helpline specialists also work closely and collaboratively with SCHS Case Management to ensure the families of their active clients have a comprehensive understanding of, and are well prepared for, their child’s IEP meetings. If any issues arise, our staff can help the families of individuals with autism understand their educational rights and the dispute resolution mechanisms that may be available to them.
Our understanding and experienced staff has in-depth knowledge of New Jersey resources and service systems. These areas of expertise include modes of treatment, state-funded services throughout the lifespan, safety and crisis planning, family support, and much more.
We can also provide individualized needs assessments and make every effort to match those needs with the appropriate resources in a client’s local area.
The regulations, policies, and laws concerning health insurance change swiftly. Available funding for autism treatment – under both commercial health insurance plans and Medicaid – has greatly expanded in recent years.
Most children with autism in New Jersey have healthcare coverage for some type of treatment benefit. We are happy to help SCHS Case Managers understand what coverage is available for their clients and troubleshoot any insurance-related issues they may have with a service provider or insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should my client do if they’re denied eligibility for special education services?
If a child is determined ineligible for special education services, their parent can challenge that determination by requesting mediation or filing for due process.
New Jersey is required under federal law to have policies to ensure that all children with disabilities residing in New Jersey and who are in need of special education and related services must be identified, located, and evaluated. Those policies are set out in the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) chapter on special education.Read more
The responsibility to identify, locate, and evaluate children suspected of having a disability, also known as “Child Find” activities, extends even to those students who are advancing from grade to grade. N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1.1(b)(3). The simple fact that a child is meeting their requirements for grade promotion does not disqualify them from eligibility.
A child is eligible for special education and related services if they:
- Have a disability defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.5(c)1-14 (autism is one of the defined classifications of disability under the code),
- That disability affects the child’s educational performance, and
- The child needs special education and related services.
After a parent refers their child for special education and related services, the school district must make a determination of eligibility and provide that determination in writing to the parent. If the parent disagrees with that determination, the inquiry doesn’t need to end there. They are not required to simply accept the school district’s position. Instead, the parent can request mediation or a due process hearing to resolve the dispute over their child’s eligibility.
What should my client do if their residency in a school district is challenged, and they’re unable to provide a lease or landlord’s letter?
Some school districts maintain that they can’t enroll a child in school without the following documents to prove that the parent resides in that school district:
- A valid, current lease, or
- A notarized letter from the parent’s landlord.
That is incorrect. Schools can – and indeed must – consider a wide range of documents when making a determination about a child’s residence and their eligibility for school enrollment.Read more
The New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) chapter on student residency has a section titled Proof of Eligibility (6A:22-3.4), which sets out the list of documents that they must accept from a parent or caregiver attempting to demonstrate a student’s eligibility for enrollment. Those documents include medical reports, counselor or social worker assessments, employment documents, unemployment claims, receipts, bills, cancelled checks, and insurance claims or payments.
Many of these alternate documents may be easier for your clients to produce than a lease or a letter from a landlord, especially if they are facing housing insecurity or have informal living arrangements.
Does Autism New Jersey have referrals for summer activities such as camp, swimming lessons, and recreational activities?
Yes, case managers can find referrals for several summer activities for individuals with autism in our referral database. Here are some direct links to frequently requested lists:Read more
Case managers might also have some success by looking at the camps listed on the website of the American Camping Association (ACA). Using the ACA website, you can filter by the type of camps, cost, length of stay, or location.
Alternatively, case managers might also find recreation opportunities, camps, and swimming lessons for their clients by exploring resources at the local level. Some excellent options to keep in mind are neighborhood community centers and county- or city-specific social media groups.
Unfortunately for families searching at the last minute, summer camps may be full, and their options may be limited. If a family is seeking help finding something to help occupy their child during the summer months, case managers may also want to provide the following childcare options to their clients:
- The searchable online database of state-licensed childcare centers created by the NJ Department of Children and Families
- Childcare resources compiled by Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R)
It is important note that these summer camps, recreation programs, and childcare providers are for reference purposes only. Autism New Jersey does not recommend any specific provider and cannot guarantee the quality of available services or care.
Where can I find more information about ABA therapy, especially as it relates to Medicaid and Insurance coverage?
A great place to learn more about ABA therapy is in the Understanding Autism dropdown tab at the top of your screen. In addition to our About Autism page and our Prevalence page, the tab will route you to the following resources:
Each of those pages has a wealth of information on its specific topic and has been written so that it is useful to professionals while still being accessible to parents and families.Read more
You can learn more about ABA therapy by visiting our articles on ABA therapy:
- What to Look for in a Behavior Analyst
- ABA in Action
- Applied Behavior Analysis 101
- Functional Behavior Assessment FAQ
We will soon be launching an insurance/ABA hub. In the meantime, you can view our web content on insurance and Medicaid by following these links:
Is there any recourse available for individuals with autism who have been suspended when the behavior for which they were disciplined is a symptom of their autism? If so, what can the family do?
Yes, there are laws that protect students with disabilities who are the subject of disciplinary action in school. When schools remove children from their educational placement for a disciplinary purpose, they may explicitly call it a suspension, or they may not. However, regardless of what the school calls that removal, it is, in fact, a suspension and it may trigger certain protections for children who have IEPs.Read more
Both the IDEA and N.J.A.C. prohibit suspension of a student with a disability for more than 10 school days without conducting a manifestation determination review. Those 10 days can either be consecutive or cumulative, which is to say that a series of short-term suspensions that add up to 10 days of removal from school should trigger a manifestation determination review. As a general practice, if a school tries to get a parent to pick up their child from school because of behavioral challenges, the parent should clarify whether the school is suspending the child. If the school indicates that it is not, then the parent should leave the child in school (assuming there are no other reasons for the parent to pick up that child).
At a manifestation determination meeting, the school must examine whether the behaviors for which the school seeks suspension are a manifestation of the child’s disability. If they were, then the school must immediately conduct a functional behavior assessment, implement a behavior intervention plan, and return the child to the educational placement from which they were removed. For more information, you can refer to the following two articles:
Can Autism New Jersey help me with my Spanish-speaking clients?
Yes, Autism New Jersey’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Services (ASDSS) provided to Special Child Health Services (SCHS) Case Management include assistance on all your cases, including those concerning mono-language Spanish-speaking families.Read more
While our ASDSS relationship was initiated to allow us to serve as a resource to SCHS case managers who want to learn more about special education and school services, we frequently answer questions from case managers on a variety of topics. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team members are experts on New Jersey resources and service systems, and case managers can call to learn more about early intervention, special education, state-funded services, adult services, insurance coverage, and how they intersect for families facing challenges due to language barriers or immigration status.
We also frequently receive direct referrals from SCHS case managers that encourage their Spanish-speaking clients to contact our helpline team. We can accommodate Spanish-language calls to our 800.4.AUTISM Helpline or emails to our information inbox.
Case managers can also access a variety of Spanish-language resources by using the translation widget found in the bottom left-hand corner of any page on our website or by clicking the following links:
What childcare resources are available to parents of children with autism?
You can search our database to explore childcare providers for the families on your caseload. If you wish to explore this option, the following link will take you to the full list of referrals for the child care referrals in our database. In addition, the NJ Department of Children and Families has created a searchable online database of nearly 4,000 state-licensed childcare centers.Read more
The following links may also be helpful:
- Child Care Resources
- DOH – Division of Family Development
- Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies
- Care.com – Some parents have used this resource for childcare. Parents can request someone with experience with special needs.
It’s important note that these childcare providers are for reference purposes only. Autism New Jersey does not recommend any specific provider and cannot guarantee the quality of available care.
Parents and caregivers may also want to have a copy of our Respite Guide handy when speaking with childcare providers. We have outlined a few sections that may help serve as talking points when having this delicate conversation with potential childcare providers. Clicking that link will start an automatic download of a PDF copy of Individualized Respite Care Guide: A Resource for Families and Professionals
Services are funded in part by Special Child Health Services of the New Jersey Department of Health.