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Children's Specialized Hospital Autism Program
Before Your Assessment
While waiting for an appointment for a developmental evaluation or an autism-team assessment, you can take the time to educate yourself about autism spectrum disorder and services that are available.   If your child has received a diagnosis of ASD, you will receive recommendations for therapies and other supports to help your child and your family. After a diagnosis, you and your family may have questions or concerns about the diagnosis and how it affects your child and family. For this reason, we have provided practical information to help guide you through an outpouring of new information. While you are waiting for appointments with physicians or therapists, take the time to learn more about the diagnosis and many of the community services that are available to assist you. 
 
The resources we have provided are intended to help you understand autism spectrum disorder. The more you know about ASD, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions for your child. The materials are not intended to replace the recommendations provided by qualified health professionals, but will help you navigate through your journey with ASD. Educate yourself about treatment options, ask questions, and proactively participate in decisions related to your child.

Based on our experience and feedback from families living with autism, The Autism Program staff has compiled a list of credible resources related to Autism Spectrum Disorders.  The hospital recognizes and appreciates the Autism New Jersey  resource directories which have been used here with their acknowledgement and consent. You may access additional resources at www.autismnj.org. Additionally, there are autism resource books and other materials available in the hospital's Parent Resources areas.
 

Early Intervention
Early intervention services are designed to address a problem or delay in development as early as possible. The services are available for infants and toddlers up to age three. The New Jersey Early Intervention System (NJEIS), under the Division of Family Health Services, implements New Jersey's statewide system of services for infants and toddlers, birth to age three, with developmental delays or disabilities, and their families.   Public and private agencies serve as providers to address the needs of children and their families who meet the state eligibility criteria.

Services are focused to identify and treat a child's needs in physical, cognitive, communication, social, emotional, and adaptive development.  Early intervention programs and services may occur in a variety of settings, with a heavy emphasis on natural environments.  Developmental intervention helps families and early interventionists implement child-focused early intervention services through a team approach that facilitates development within natural settings and activities and in the context of meaningful relationships. Early intervention providers, service coordinators, families, and designated community agencies can work together as a team to meet the child and family’s needs and support each child’s growth and development.
 
Families can contact the New Jersey Regional System Point of Entry toll free number at 1-888-653-4463 and follow the menu directions based on the county where they live. A service coordinator will talk with the family about their concerns and offer referral information if needed. If a developmental evaluation is needed, the service coordinator will work with the family to schedule a multidisciplinary evaluation of the child's developmental levels and needs. Evaluation and assessment services are provided at public expense with no cost to parents.
 
 
Special Child Health Services Case Management 
With parental consent, the Division of Family Health Services Special Child Health Services (SCHS) works with a child’s parents and physician to evaluate the child’s strengths and needs and develops an individual service plan for the child and family.  Case managers target medical, educational, developmental, social and economic needs for children between the ages of three and twenty-one.  Each New Jersey County has a Special Child Health Services (SCHS) Case Management Unit which serves families in that geographic area.  
 
Children’s Specialized Hospital – Navigating the Journey
Navigating the Journey is a full day workshop for families with children who have recently been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Topics include introduction to autism spectrum disorders, improving communication, handling behavior, social concerns, sensory issues, sleep issues, medication, feeding concerns, and family support. Visit the Children’s Specialized Hospital calendar for dates and locations of upcoming workshops.
 
Children’s Specialized Hospital – Support for Families with Newly Diagnosed Children
Children’s Specialized Hospital offers a parent support group for parents with children newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.  Visit the Children’s Specialized Hospital calendar for dates and locations of upcoming sessions.
 
The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit has been created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child's diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The 100 Day kit is also available in Spanish.
 

Autism Speaks “Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit”
A tool kit to assist families in getting the critical information they need in the first 100 days after an Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism diagnosis.

 
Case management services help individuals learn about and gain access to any services that can help address their needs. These include, but are not limited to, Medicaid wavier and Medicaid State Plan services as well as medical, social, educational, county and municipal services.  DDD provides different levels of case management, depending on the assessed need of the individual, to help coordinate services and supports. In some cases, individuals may be assigned to the Office of Information and Assistance Services (OIAS) at DDD’s sister agency, the Division of Disability Services. The two divisions, which are both part of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, work closely together to make sure those individuals who are eligible for services funded by DDD are able to access them if the need arises.
 
A website and family guide to navigating the New Jersey service systems for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
 
Family Resource Network (FRN) is a family-focused human service organization that serves families and individuals affected by autism, chronic illness, disabilities, and epilepsy.   FRN is dedicated to offering these individuals and their families the greatest opportunities, resources and services to support a full and happy life.