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Montana DDP Autism Information

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved Montana’s new autism home and community-based services waiver for children (Children's Autism Waiver) to become effective January 1, 2009. The new waiver will initially serve about 40- 45 children diagnosed with autism who are at least 15 months through age four when enrolled into the waiver. Enrollment will be limited to a maximum three-year period at an average cost of $40,000 per year per child. Services include 20-25 hours per week of intensive in-home habilitation training by a children’s autism trainer, respite, waiver-funded children’s case management, adaptive equipment/environmental modification, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, transportation, individual goods and services, and program design and monitoring for children.

To view the waiver application go to http://dphhs.mt.gov/dsd/mt0667rwaiver/.

Progress Reports for the Children's Autism Waiver

Outcome reports:

Preliminary progress reports for the Children’s Autism Waiver:

Autism data:

  • 1 in 150 children are born with autism (2002 data)
  • 1.5 million Americans are affected by autism
  • 10-17 % increase in incidents of autism each year
  • $3.2 million per capita cost of autism over the person's lifetime without effective intervention
  • 47% of children are mainstreamed as a result of intensive ABA programs
  • $1.7 million to $2.8 million per person estimated cost benefit (avoidance) from intervention

What are autism spectrum disorders?

Autism is one in a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). An ASD begins before the age of 3 and lasts throughout a person's life. ASDs are developmental disabilities that cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests. The thinking and learning abilities of people with ASDs can vary—from gifted to severely challenged. There is usually nothing about how a person with an ASD looks that sets them apart from other people, but they may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most people.

What are some of the signs of ASDs?

People with ASDs may have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASDs also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. ASDs begin during early childhood and last throughout a person's life.

Red Flags of Autism Spectrum Disorders:

If your baby shows two or more of these signs, please seek an immediate evaluation.

Impairment in Social Interaction:

  • Lack of appropriate eye gaze
  • Lack of warm, joyful expressions
  • Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
  • Lack of response to name

Impairment in Communication:

  • Lack of showing gestures
  • Lack of coordination of nonverbal communication
  • Unusual prosody (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm, unusual voice quality)

Repetitive Behaviors & Restricted Interests:

  • Repetitive movements with objects
  • Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands, or fingers

* Note: Contact your child’s doctor or nurse if your child experiences a dramatic loss of skills at any age.

What can I do if I think my child has an ASD?

If you or your doctor think there could be a problem, contact the nearest DDP Regional Office to find out more information about testing and services.

Additional information:

Page last updated 07/24/2013