Eden Autism and Hinkle, Fingles, Prior & Fischer are proud to present for the third consecutive year the Autism Advocacy Across the Lifespan series. These six workshops will address the legal and advocacy issues facing parents, guardians and siblings of those affected by autism spectrum disorders from the early years following diagnosis, through the school years and into adult life. The series dates and titles are below.
October 20, 2016 - The Early Years: What Parents Need to Know
This 90-minute program will cover a basic overview of state and federal health care laws, and safeguards designed to benefit young children with autism and their families. Attorneys will also discuss New Jersey’s system of Early Intervention Services for children birth age to three, pre-school special education services for children up to age five and transition to school services.
November 22, 2016 - Special Education for Autism
Attendees will learn about special education law and how it specifically relates to services for those with autism, with an emphasis on maximizing results for students while avoiding common pitfalls. Attorneys will describe the identification and evaluation process; setting of goals and objectives; determination of related services; identification of an appropriate placement; Extended School Year (ESY) services; and quality ABA services. They will also offer strategies for effective collaboration with the local school district, and ways for parents to more successfully participate as an equal member of the IEP team. Advocacy steps for the settlement of disputes and disagreements will also be discussed.
February 1, 2017 - Transition to Adult Life: What Parents Need to Know
In this unique 90-minute workshop geared for parents and future guardians, Ira M. Fingles, Esq. will describe the nuts and bolts of transition planning for students ages 14-21, and will provide an overview of important considerations from a legal and clinical perspective. Issues will include curriculum considerations, community-based instruction, and preparation for adult life – college, jobs or day supports, person centered planning, individual support plans, and the transfer of decision-making authority at the age of 18, including guardianship, and other options.
February 22, 2017 - Adult Services: Medicaid, Waivers, Housing, Day Services and "Self-Directed Services"
Attendees will learn about government programs for adults with autism that begin at age 18, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), and Medicaid. Attorneys will also discuss securing services after age 21 when the entitlement to special education ends, including day and residential services available through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and programs offered through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS). Attorneys will present emerging information on New Jersey’s ever-changing system of adult services, including “fee-for-service” and the growing role of Medicaid eligibility and waivers.
March 27, 2017 - Adults Services & Placement from a Family's and Professional's Perspective
In this unique program, S. Paul Prior, Esq. and Maria Fischer, Esq. will bring a brother’s and mother’s perspective to understanding and navigating the maze of adult services. Paul, who has a brother at Eden and Maria, who is the parent of a 23 year-old on the autism spectrum, will discuss what it means to navigate government programs such as SSI, Medicaid, DDD and DVRS. They will also discuss the sometimes challenging selection of day and residential placements from the family member’s point of view. Guardianship and succession planning to the next generation will be discussed. Learn about non-traditional housing alternatives, pooled housing resources, and other emerging innovations to help fund residential services.
April 27, 2017 - Retirement, Elder Care Planning, and Later Life Considerations
As parents and grandparents of individuals with autism age, elder care and end-of-life planning becomes vital. In this program, attorneys will discuss the need for late life planning, including financial strategies to minimize the impact of long-term care costs to parents, advanced medical directives and Wills, how to use insurance and other tools to fund Special Needs Trusts, as well as a gifting and charitable strategies designed to extend your legacy.