Speak To The Nursery Or School
Speaking to staff at their nursery or school is the best place to start.
You could speak to:
- your child’s teacher
- special educational needs staff, if the school has them
Talk to them about the needs you think your child has. For example, if they need help with communication, learning or social skills.
Is Autism Considered A Disability On Taxes
The short answer is yes, the Earned Income Tax Credit does cover children with autism as a disability, but the process is a bit more complex than merely claiming the EITC on your tax return. First, an ASD diagnosis is not enough by itself to qualify a child for the EITC, and;the IRS has specific criteria;that the child must meet for their disorder to qualify as a disability. The IRS defines disability for the purposes of the EITC as The child cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition and it is medically determined that the condition has lasted or can be expected to last at least a year or lead to death.
Along with these criteria, the IRS evaluates your circumstances with a series of qualifying tests including:
- Age test:;There is no age limit for a qualifying child with a disability, as long as there is proof the child is permanently and completely disabled, such as a;neuropsychological assessment;from a medical professional.
- Relationship test:;The qualifying child must be your son or daughter, stepchild, foster child, or adopted child.
- Residency test:;The child must live with you for the majority of the tax year.
There may be additional eligibility requirements for claiming the EITC for a child with disabilities, depending on your income, tax filing status, or other criteria that the IRS outlines.
How To Get Extra Support
The whole process can take a few months. Ask the school what support they can offer while it’s happening.
If you do not agree with the council’s decision
The council may decide your child does not need an EHC assessment or plan. If this happens, they should tell you why.
If you do not agree with their decision, you have the right to appeal.
You’ll be told how to do this when you hear from the council.
Tax Strategies For Parents Of Kids With Special Needs
If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, there are some tax strategies to be aware of that can save your family money. For example, you can deduct the cost of many out-of-pocket expenses on your federal taxes.; In this article, you’ll learn about deductions as well as other strategic considerations such as tax credits.;
Please note: The information in this article is educational in nature and is not to be considered tax advice. Please contact a qualified tax professional to discuss how these concepts may or may not apply to your personal situation.
Government Benefits And Special Needs Trusts
For many individuals with autism, government benefits provide essential services and financial support. Parents assets are not typically evaluated when establishing a childs eligibility for means-tested public benefits, but upon reaching adulthood, the individuals own finances become a consideration. Major public programs with strict standards regarding beneficiary-held assets include:
;Medicaid coverage of; basic medical care;Medicaid waiver services such as employment assistance, day habilitation, residential options and in-home supports;Supplemental Security Income , which provides funds for food and shelter;Food stamps;Housing subsidies
Personal injury settlements, inheritances or gifts can easily disqualify an individual with autism for these important programs.; But if those funds are held by a special needs trust , they arent owned by the individual, and eligibility for government benefits is not affected.; Such protected assets can then be used for expenses not covered by public programsa service dog, certain therapies, a computer or vacation.
There are three types of SNTs, subject to differing regulations:
To locate a special needs attorney near you, click here.
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Getting A Place At A Special School
To get a place at a special school, your child will usually need an EHC plan.
As part of an EHC plan, you have the right to tell your council what school you’d like your child to go to.
The council can only refuse this if they think there’s a clear reason why the school is unsuitable.
The charity IPSEA has more about choosing a school with an EHC plan.
Medical Diagnosis Vs Educational Eligibility For Special Services: Important Distinctions For Those Diagnosed With Asd
Parents are often surprised to learn that a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder does not automatically entitle a student to special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act . Eligibility for special education services is based, rather, on an educational determination of a disability, which includes meeting not just the criteria for a specific disability , but also finding that a student is in need of special services. Understanding the differences between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination of eligibility for special education services can help parents become better advocates for their children.
By contrast, educational eligibility is decided by a team comprised of various school professionals and a students parents. The team must find that the student qualifies for services under IDEA. To be eligible, IDEA requires that a student have at least one of 14 specified disabilities and be in need of special services. Autism is one of the 14 categories, but the definition of autism varies from state to state. Some states follow the medical definition found in the DSM, but others have their own definitions. In fact, some states exclude students with diagnoses of Aspergers Disorder or PDD-NOS from the autism category
Impact on Services
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Autism Meltdowns Come From Overwhelm Or Overstimulation
Next, lets answer the question. What is an autism meltdown? A meltdown is when the child loses control over his behavior and can only be calmed down by a parent, or when he reaches the point of exhaustion. These will sometimes be referred to as autism outbursts, but we will refer to it solely as an autism meltdown in this article.
Meltdowns are reactions to feeling overwhelmed and are often seen as a result of sensory overstimulation. Tantrums can lead to meltdowns, so it can be hard to tell the difference between the two outbursts if youre not attuned to your childs sensory signals.
For more information on sensory processing, check out Harklas article here.
When a person with autism experiences too much sensory stimulation, their central nervous system is overwhelmed and unable to process all of the input. Its a;physiological “traffic jam” in your central nervous system and the sensory overstimulation is not unlike a maladaptive response to an;actual traffic jam.
Weve all had the experience of happily driving to our destination, cruising down the highway singing along to our favorite song, when all of a sudden traffic comes to a dead stop. Now, instead of comfortably cruising , youre at a standstill surrounded by imposing big trucks, offensive exhaust fumes, blaring horns, and the blazing hot sun peeking through your windows.
The last thing you want is to be stuck in your car in that traffic jam – you want out!
Proposed Statements Of Special Educational Needs
When the EA writes a;statement;they will first send you a copy of the ‘proposed statement’. This is so that you have the chance to comment on it.;;Along with the proposed statement, the EA will send you copies of all the professional reports which were prepared during the statutory assessment. For example, these could be from your child’s school or nursery, educational psychologist, health trust, etc.;;You have the right to ask the EA to arrange a meeting with a relevant professional to discuss these reports, or ‘advices’. You can also ask for a meeting with an EA officer;to talk about the contents of the proposed statement.;;The EA should send you a letter with the proposed statement which tells you that you have 15 days to make comments or request a meeting with an EA officer, this is known as making representations.;;A meeting can take place after the 15-day period, it is a good idea to take a friend, relative or adviser with you. You will have a further;15 day;period after your meeting to make representations on the contents of the statement. ;
Meetings with EA officers can be repeated. Following the meeting, an ‘amended proposed statement’ may be produced. Alternatively, the EA may finalise the statement, sending the final statement to you with a letter explaining your right of appeal to the;Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you disagree with the statement.;
You may also want to consider contacting the;Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service .;;
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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Previously Called Autism And Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the following:
- Difficulties in social communication differences, including verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Deficits in social interactions.
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities and sensory problems
Many of those with ASD can have delayed or absence of language development, intellectual disabilities, poor motor coordination and attention weaknesses.
So What If Autism Is A Disability
So weve answered the question Is autism a disability? And if it is, then what? What does this mean? Well here are 2 important things you should know. First, know that disability doesnt mean inability. Secondly, you should know that advocacy, accommodations, and assistance are readily available.
Disability doesnt mean Inability
Somehow our culture has arrived at a very skewed understanding of persons with autism. Unfortunately, when discussing disabilities, an over-emphasis is often on what these individuals cant do. In the minds of some, disability equals inability.
However, this couldnt be further from the truth. The reality is, there are countless examples of persons with disabilities making significant accomplishments. And not only this, the variety of fields where they are making an impact is nothing short of amazing! Some of these I included in a previous post found here.
Some of these include persons such as Susan Boyle, Dan Akroyd, and Noah Britton. These individuals have all had made significant social contributions, yet in their own unique way. This demonstrates that individuals with disabilities are more than capable!
So one of the more helpful ways to grasp the meaning of a disability is to understand it as a differing ability. In other words, its not that these individuals are incapable. Its more so that they have a different way of accomplishing the task at hand. So disability does NOT equal inability.
Accommodations could include things such:
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Is Autism A Disability And If It Is A Disability Then What
Is autism a disability? The short answer to that question is yes. Autism is a disability.
But the conversation doesnt stop there. In fact, theres so much more to this conversation that we need to consider than just the disability label.
More specifically, autism is whats referred to as a developmental disability.
And whats a developmental disability? The term has a few nuances but refers to a condition that affects ones life-long development.
Autism is not considered a birth defect nor is it a learning disability. Birth defects apply more to observable abnormalities in bodily structures. A learning disability refers to difficulties in learning unrelated to intelligence or motivation.
So whats the definition of autism? Well, the official diagnostic term is Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD.
People with ASD have a condition where a compromise occurs in the brains development. As a result, individuals with autism typically have challenges in a few areas. These include difficulty with communication, social interaction, and behavioral challenges.
Autism affects approximately 1 in 60 children, mostly boys.
It doesnt take a long time to recognize autistic symptoms. In fact, you can recognize these symptoms before a child reaches the age of 2 years.
The cause of autism is unknown. Though some suggest that vaccines cause autism, there is no conclusive evidence to substantiate that claim.
How Is Asd Diagnosed
ASD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person depending on the severity of the disorder. Symptoms may even go unrecognized for young children who have mild ASD or less debilitating handicaps.
Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed by clinicians based on symptoms, signs, and testing according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders. Children should be screened for developmental delays during periodic checkups and specifically for autism at 18- and 24-month well-child visits.
Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:
- no babbling or pointing by age 1
- no single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
- no response to name
- excessive lining up of toys or objects
- no smiling or social responsiveness
Later indicators include:
- impaired ability to make friends with peers
- impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
- absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
- repetitive or unusual use of language
- abnormally intense or focused interest
- preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
- inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
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Registered Behavior Technician Online Training Opportunity
Due to course maintenance the fall 2021 session has been postponed. The RBT course will begin January 5, 2022. Application for next RBT course will open at 9:00 a.m. on December 6, 2021.
Online Para-Educator Training
If you simply want more information around behavior and instructional strategies, but do NOT want/need the RBT credential, please take the;Online Para-Educator Training.;
Can Someone Receive Disability Benefits For Autism
Yes, the Social Security Administration has two kinds of autism disability benefits for eligible individuals, including:
- Social Security Disability Income : This is intended for adults who have worked in the past but now cannot due to disability
- Supplemental Security Income : This is for disabled children and adults of lower income, and they do not need to have worked in the past to qualify
The various medical conditions and eligibility criteria are specified in the Social Security Administrations Impairment Listing Manual, also known as the blue book.
Parents of children under 18 with autism may qualify for SSI benefits, and people with autism who are 18 or older may qualify for either SSI or SSDI benefits. Adults with autism who have never worked may be eligible for SSDI benefits, based on their parents employment history.
The SSA provides a free, downloadable booklet titled Benefits for Children With Disabilities. While not specific to autism, it is a useful resource and starting point for understanding federal SSA programs for parents of children with disabilities. The booklet also covers SSDI benefits for adults who have been disabled since childhood.
Families of children who receive social security disability and SSI benefits for autism may be eligible for medical benefits, including:
- Medicaid and Medicare
- Childrens Health Insurance Program
- Special access to health care services under the Children with Special Health Care Need provision of the SSA
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What Is Pathological Demand Avoidance
Pathological Demand Avoidance is a form of autism which may also affect the;way a person communicates and relates to other people.
People with PDA may experience challenges such as specific learning difficulties, but their central difficulty is that they are driven to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent. This avoidance is rooted in an anxiety-based need to be in control.
Mencaps online community is a safe and supportive place to meet others, ask questions about learning disability, share experiences and offer support.
Social Security Disability Income
Social security for adults with autism includes both the SSI and SSDI programs. Social security disability benefits for autism may carry over from childhood to adulthood for people who were receiving social security disability for autism on their parents social security record.
The SSDI program is for adults who are disabled from working. It is usually based on the recipients income before they became disabled. If the disability began before age 22, however, it can be based on the recipients parental income.
Once a child reaches age 18, the blue book adult criteria for disability determination takes effect, and these differ from the childhood criteria.
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Question: Since Kids With Autism Can Get Special Education Services Does That Mean Autism Is A Learning Disability
No, autism spectrum disorder isnt a learning disability. But it does affect learning; sometimes in ways like learning disabilities. And kids who have autism are often eligible for special education
Special education law covers 13 types of disabilities, including a category known as specific learning disability . Autism is another category.
Kids who have an SLD have challenges in certain academic skills. Reading, writing, and math are the main ones. Autism may cause challenges in those areas, too. However, it also has a broader impact on how kids develop.
It affects communication and can cause trouble with social skills. It also tends to involve sensory processing issues, repeated movements, and limited interests.
Teachers and doctors know a lot about how to help with autism and with learning disabilities. But the strategies can be very different. Some supports that are great for kids with learning disabilities may not work for kids with autismand vice versa. Autism and learning disabilities can co-occur, too.
See two grade-schoolers explain what autism and dyslexia feel like in this video from Not Your Mum.
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