Fraser Autism Resource Directory - For Individuals Birth through 11 For the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area

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Fraser Autism Resource Directory - For Individuals Birth through 11 For the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
Fraser Autism
Resource Directory
For Individuals Birth through 11

For the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
12th Edition

Introduction                                       4
Autism Overview, Treatment and Therapies           5
  Autism Defined                                    5
  Autism and Its Related Disorders                  5
  The Causes of Autism                              5
  Diagnosing Autism                                 6
  Treatments/Therapies                              6
  Auditory Integration Training                     7
  Behavioral Interventions                          7
  Communication                                     7
  Diet                                              7
  Medication                                        7
  Music Therapy                                     7
  Sensory Integration                               7
  Social Skills                                     8
  Vision                                            8
  Other Treatments                                  8
Evaluating Treatment Options                       9
  Principles of Evaluating Treatment of Autism      9
  Questions to Ask Regarding Specific Treatments    9
Accessing Services for Your Child                  10
  Step 1: SCREENING                                10
  Step 2: EVALUATION/ASSESSMENT                    12
  Step 3: INTERVENTION/TREATMENT                   12
  Step 3B: CASE MANAGEMENT                         13
  Finally: SUPPORT GROUPS                          13
Paths to Evaluation                                14
Paths to Eligibility for Services                  15

Resource Information
     Fraser Autism Services                        16
     Assessment and Evaluation                     17
     Financial and Medical Assistance              19
Case Management/Service Coordination                                23
    Treatment and Intervention Agencies                                 24
    Intervention/Methodology Descriptions                               27
    Therapy Service Providers                                           30
    Healthcare Providers                                                35
    PCA and Respite Resources                                           43
    Life Planning                                                       44
    Advocacy and Support Services                                       45
    Attorneys, Guardianship, Conservatorship and Trust Fund Resources   49
    Adaptive Equipment Resources                                        51
    Adaptive Equipment Products                                         52
    Recreation Resources                                                53
    Special Needs Child Care Agencies                                   54
    Books, Videos, Web Sites                                            55

Dictionary of Autism Terms and Acronyms                                 57
Tell Us What You Think                                                  62
This resource directory is for families and
caregivers of young children with autism       The resources included are for your
spectrum disorders (ASD).                      information and do not constitute any
                                               recommendation or guarantee by Fraser.
Whether your child is just beginning the
assessment process or already receives         Although the focus here is on young
services, you undoubtedly will have            children with autism spectrum disorders, the
questions. You will get a lot of information   service systems described apply to all young
from many sources – perhaps too much           children with special needs.
information! It is time consuming and can
be confusing to sort through and decide        If you have comments, updates or ideas for
what is best for your family. We hope that     future revisions of this resource guide,
this guide can be a valuable tool in your      please mail them to:
family’s journey. We also hope that having
this information all in one source will        Fraser ®
provide you with more time for the             2400 West 64th Street
important things in life – you and your        Richfield, MN 55423
family.                                        Email:

No single booklet can tell you everything      This directory can also be found online at
you need to know. In an effort to be 
comprehensive but not overwhelming, this       Expertise---Information
information is intended to be a starting

You will need to ask many questions along
the way and should insist on answers that
you understand. As you create partnerships
with the people who specialize in services
for young children with special needs, keep
your child’s and family’s needs in mind.
Ultimately, you are the case manager for
your child and his/her best advocate.

Please note that the county services in this
document are outlined according to
Hennepin County services and the school
services are outlined according to
Minneapolis Public School programs. If you
live outside these boundaries, contact your
area school district and county for help.
Autism Defined                                            Autistic Disorder –impairments in social
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that            interaction, communication, and imaginative
typically appears during the first three years of          play prior to age 3.
life. The result of a neurological disorder that          Asperger’s Disorder –impairments in social
affects function of the brain, autism and its              interactions and restriction in activities, but
associated behaviors occur in an estimated 1 in 88         no significant language and cognitive delay.
individuals.* Autism is more common in boys               Rett’s Disorder –occurs only in girls; period
than in girls – a rate of four to one. Race,               of normal development (1-4 years), followed
ethnicity, and social boundaries (family income,           by loss of skills and replacement of use of
lifestyle and educational levels) do not affect the        hands with repetitive hand movements.
chance of autism’s occurrence. Autism affects the         Childhood Disintegrative Disorder –normal
normal development of the brain and results in             development for 2 years, followed by
difficulties with verbal and non-verbal                    significant loss of skills.
communication, social interactions and leisure or         Pervasive Developmental Disorder –Not
play activities. In some cases, aggressive or self-        Otherwise Specified –known as atypical
injurious behavior may be present. Individuals             autism; does not meet criteria for the other
with autism may exhibit repeated body                      four categories of PDD, but severe
movements, unusual responses to people or                  impairment in behavior is present.
attachments to objects, resistance to changes in
routine, and sensitivity to any of the five senses:
                                                      The Causes of Autism
sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. More than     Although a specific cause of autism is not
500,000 people in the U.S. have autism or some        known, current research links autism to
form of pervasive developmental disorder,             biological or neurological differences in the
making it one of the most common developmental        brain. A pattern of autism or related disabilites
disabilties.                                          in families suggests there is a genetic basis to the
                                                      disorder, most likely involving several genes in
Autism and Its Related Disorders                      combination. Research also indicates there may
Autism is a spectrum disorder, where symptoms         be an environmental contribution to autism. The
and characteristics can present themselves in a       differences between children with this diagnosis
wide variety of combinations, from mild to            indicate there are likely several paths to a
severe. A diagnosis, which is based on                diagnosis of autism. Autism is not a mental
observation and parent consultation, is made          illness, not caused by bad parenting, and no
when a specified number of characteristics listed     known psychological factors in the development
in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV           of the child have been shown to cause autism.
(DSM-IV) are present. In the DSM-IV, several
disorders fall under the broad heading of
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), a             *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2012. In the original
category of disorders characterized by severe and     article (1997), this statistic was 1 in 500 according to the CDC. T his
pervasive impairment in several areas of              represents a 78% increase.
development (American Psychiatric Association

While the DSM-IV uses the broad term of PDD,
the community at large refers to this category as
Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The major diagnoses included in the Pervasive
Developmental Disorders include:
Diagnosing Autism                                Treatments/Therapies
Autism diagnosis is based on observation of      In the medical sense, there is no cure for the
the individual’s communication, behavior         differences in the brain which result in
and developmental levels. While there is no      autism. However, a better understanding of
medical test for autism, various medical         the disorder has led to the development of
tests may identify or rule out other possible    better coping mechanisms and strategies for
causes of exhibited symptoms. Diagnosis is       the various manifestations of the disability.
difficult and should be done by a multi-         With appropriate intervention, many of the
disciplinary team, which may include a           behaviors associated with autism can be
neurologist, psychologist, developmental         positively changed. In some cases, the child
pediatrician, speech/language therapist,         or adult may appear to no longer have
learning consultant, or another professional     autism. However, the majority of children
knowledgeable about autism.                      and adults will continue to exhibit some
                                                 manifestations of autism to some degree
                                                 throughout their lives. Evidence shows that
  Characteristics of Autism                      early intervention results in dramatically
The following areas are among those that         positive outcomes for young children with
may be affected by autism.                       autism. Though they may emphasize
 Communication –delayed or no language          different componenets, effective programs
   development; words with no meaning;           all share an emphasis on early, appropriate
   gesture communication; short attention        and intensive education interventions.
   span.                                         Because autism is a spectrum and many
 Social Interaction –spends time alone;         behavior combinations can occur, no one
   less responsive to social cues.               approach is effective in alleviating
 Sensory Impairment –may have                   symptoms in all cases. The National
   sensitivity in sight, hearing, touch, smell   Research Council* reviewed the
   and taste.                                    effectiveness of a range of national
 Play –lack of spontaneous or                   programs and identified key components of
   imaginative play.                             intervention that contribute to successsful
 Behaviors –overactive or passive,              outcomes:
   tantrums, may lack common sense, may                Early entry into intervention
   show aggression, needs routine.                     Active engagement in intensive
Some individuals with autism may have                  Repeated 1:1 intervention
other disorders affecting the brain such as               opportunities
epilepsy, mental retardation, Down                     At least 1:2 ratio
syndrome, and certain genetic disoders.                Evaluation of progress with
Many people diagnosed with autism will                    appropriate adaptations.
also test in the range of mental retardation
and 25-30 percent may develop a seizure          To be effective, an approach should be
pattern.                                         flexible, rely on positive reinforcement, be
                                                 re-evaluated regularly and provide a smooth
Contrary to popular understanding, many          transition from home to school to
children and adults with autism make eye         community environments.
contact, show affection, smile and laugh,
and demonstrate a variety of other emotion,      *National Research Council (2001). Educating Children
                                                 with Autism, Committee on Educational Interventions for
although in varying degrees. Like other          Children with Autism. C. Lord & J. M cGee (eds.)
children, they respond to their environment      Washington DC: National Academy Press.
in both positive and negative ways.
The following is an overview of treatment       communication boards or sign systmes may
options available for individuals with          be used to help the person communicate
autism. This is not an exhaustive list and is   more effectively.
intended only to provide a general overview
rather than specific treatment                  Diet
recommendation. Contact the Autism              Although no rigorous scientific studies
Society of America for additional               support the idea that dietary modification
information on any of these treatment           reduces or eliminates symptoms of autism,
approaches.                                     some professionals and parents have
                                                reported changes in a child’s behavior. In a
                                                modified diet, substances such as yeast and
Auditory Integration Training
The technique of auditory integration           gluten may be eliminated. Vitamins and
training may help some individuals who are      supplements have also been reported by
                                                some parents to affect particular behaviors
oversensitive or hypersensitive to sound.
This therapy involves the individual            (such as attention span).
listening to a variety of different sound
frequencies, coordinated to their level of      Medication
impairment. Auditory training is performed      While no one medication is used to treat
                                                autism, some medications are prescribed to
by an audiogist trained in this particular
method.                                         alleviate specific characteristics such as
                                                aggression, seizures, hyperactivity,
                                                obsessive/compulsive behavior or anxiety.
Behavioral Interventions                        For information on specific medications,
Techniques to deal with the behavioral          consult a developmental pediatrician or
manifestations of autism are part of many       psychiatrist with experience in treating
treatment programs. Some programs focus         autism.
on inappropriate or challenging behaviors,
and may include different types of behavior
                                                Music Therapy
techniques meant to determine the cause of
the behaviors and/or replace them. Other        Music therapy incorporates music into the
                                                teaching of cognitive, motor and daily living
programs may be based on learning new
skills such as communication or object          skills. It may be provided in a private setting
                                                or included in a child’s educational program
recognition. Behavior programs may be
                                                and can be effective treatment for some
carried out across home, school and work
environments.                                   people with autism.

                                                Sensory Integration
One of the main areas affected by autism is     An area of difficulty that may be less obvious
an individual’s ability to communicate.         but prevalent in individuals with autism, is
                                                the integration of sensory messages. Some
Many treatment programs include methods
to increase communication skills. To            individuals have unusual reactions such as
                                                being overly sensitive to touch or under-
determine the communication needs of your
child, you may want to seek an evaluation       responsive to pain. Sight, hearing, touch,
from a speech language pathologist with         smell and taste may be affected at various
                                                degrees. Noises may sound too loud or too
knowledge of autism. Speech therapy can
address receptive language or understanding     soft and colors may appear bright or painful.
                                                Different treatments are available depending
expressive language, speech production and
social interaction or pragmatic skills.         on the particular sensory system that is
Alternative or augmentative options such as     affected.
electronic communication devices, picture
Social Skills
One of the main characteristics of autism is a
lack of social ability or the understanding of
social cues. Individuals with autism may
spend time alone rather than with others,
show little interest in making friends and be
less responsive to social cues such as eye
contact or facial expression. Social skills
programming may include such diverse
techniques as helping individuals with autism
learn to recognize facial expressions and
emotions, communicate in social situations or
wait calmly in line (such as at the grocery
store). As with other autism treatments, social
skills programming varies depending on
individual need.

Some individuals with autism experience
vision difficulties, such as poor eye contact,
difficulty attending visually, visual fixation,
and hyper- or hypo-sensitivity to light or
color. Developmental or behavioral
optometrists may be able to treat individuals
who experience vision difficulties. These
professionals believe that some of the unusual
behaviors associated with autism may be
related to visual-perceptual problems.
Treatment may include specialized colored or
prism lenses or practicing vision exercises.

Other Treatments
The treatments mentioned above are not a
comprehensive list of all options available to
individuals with autism. There is a variety of
other options including animal therapy, anti-
yeast therapy and cranial sacral therapy, to
name a few. Due to the incredible number
of interventions described for ASD, a
disorder with unknown cause, it is important
to review your child’s needs, consider
interventions that include researched
strategies and do not have potentially
harmful side effects.

Pages 4-7 appear as printed in the January-February 1999 issue of
Advocate, a publication of the Autism Society of America, with
updates as appropriate.
Principles of Evaluating Treatment of
Autism                                               Questions to Ask Regarding Specific
1. Approach any new treatment with hopeful           Treatments
    skepticism. Remember that the goal of any        1. Will the treatment result in harm to my
    treatment should be to help the person with         child?
    autism become a fully functioning member         2. How will failure of the treatment affect my
    of society.
                                                        child and family?
2. Beware of any program or technique that is        3. Has the treatment been validated
   touted as effective or desirable for every           scientifically?
   person with autism.
                                                     4. Are assessment procedures specified?
3. Beware of any program that thwarts
   individualization and potentially results in      5. How will the treatment be integrated into the
   harmful program decisions.                           child’s current program? Do not become so
                                                        infatuated with a given treatment that
4. Be aware that any treatment represents one           functional curriculum, vocational life and
   of several options for a person with autism.
                                                        social skills are ignored.
5. Be aware that treatment should always
   depend on individual assessment
   information that points to it as an appropriate
   choice for a particular child.
6. Be aware that no new treatment should be
   implemented until its proponents can specify
   assessment procedures necessary to
   determine whether it will be appropriate for
   an individual with autism.
7. Be aware that debate over use of various
   techniques is often reduced to superficial
   arguments over who is right, moral and
   ethical and who is a true advocate for the
   children. This can lead to results that are
   directly opposite to those intended.
8. Be aware that often new treatments have not
   been validated scientifically.

                                                     From Dr. B.J. Freeman, Diagnosis of the Syndrome of Autism: Questions
A child with autism may qualify for a range       the assessment procedures are similar, they
of services. Here are some of the steps you       are not exactly the same. Many parents
must take as well as some steps you may           report feeling like everyone wants the same
wish to take to access services. As you           information and that they must answer the
navigate the system, it is important to           same questions repeatedly. They also
understand that there are two separate but        question why their child has to take a test
related paths: education-based services and       similar to one already taken. It may help to
mental health related services. You may find      know that the people working in both
yourself on one or both of these paths.           systems want the best possible programming
                                                  for a child. While they are sympathetic to
Education-based services are delivered            parent frustration and stress, they are
through local school districts. Children who      following procedures they cannot change.
are identified as needing special education
services receive appropriate programming          Here are the basic steps of accessing
free of charge. State law requires this for       services for any child with special needs.
children under age 3 and federal law              The entry point may vary for each child and
requires it for children ages 3 to 22.            family.

Mental health related services are typically      Step 1: SCREENING
delivered through clinics and human service       The first step toward education-based
agencies. Payment usually comes through           services is to have your child screened by
private or public health insurance through        612-348-TOTS (if in Minneapolis) or your
mental health benefits provided that the          local school district. All children must be
child has a medical diagnosis. Families           screened before entering the Minneapolis
sometimes pay a portion of the cost.              Public School system. This usually is done
                                                  around age 4. If you are concerned about
Medical interventions typically target a          your child’s development, you should have
particular area (sleep, diet, seizures, etc.) A   this screening done much earlier, at age 2 or
medical diagnosis of ASD may guide a              even younger. If the people who screen your
pediatrician to make additional referrals         child think there is a reason for further
such as to a neurologist due to increased         testing, they will refer you to the public
possibility of seizures or for genetic testing    schools. Screening and referral statewide
to determine a cause for the behaviors.           can occur through MCSHN (MN Children
Rehabilitative services such as speech or         with Special Health Needs) through the
occupational therapy are common referrals a       department of health 1-800-728-5420.
physician may make for a child with ASD.
                                                  Screening for mental health and medical
Access to Community Services often                services often starts with a family’s health
requires a medical diagnosis plus additional      care provider. Well-child check-ups should
cognitive and adaptive functioning testing.       include screening performed by a nurse or
If criteria are met, a child may receive          doctor who knows about typical
financial help or supportive care services.       development. If there is cause for concern,
                                                  clinicians can refer to the appropriate
Children must qualify for each type of            specialist for further testing. This step is
service according to predetermined                necessary if you want your insurance
standards. One of the greatest sources of         provider to pay for the next step. Screening
frustration reported by parents is trying to      for community services often requires the
understand how the systems relate. Though         medical evaluation to be completed.
Special Ed

           Educational         ASD            Educational
             Plans                             Services
              IEP                           Speech Therapy
               504 Plan                     Adaptive Phy. Ed

  Community                Educational                   Mental Health
    Services                 Label                       Interventions
     TEFRA                                              Family Therapies
     Waiver                  Medical                     Skills Training
      PCA                   Diagnosis

         Private Rehab                         Transition
         Speech Therapy                        Planning
          Occupational                          Vocational
          Therapy (OT)       Medical        Community supports,
                          Genetic Testing
Step 2: EVALUATION/ASSESSMENT                   the diagnosis than someone who specializes
(see Resource Sheet A)                          in autism, seeing several clients each day.
If your child is referred to the Minneapolis    This does not mean, however, that treatment
Public Schools for assessment, a team of        should be delayed. Identifying and
educators conducts an assessment over the       diagnosing autism early can provide access
course of several days (see pages 11-13).       to appropriate services that result in a better
The team uses a statewide standard to           prognosis.
determine if your child qualifies for an
educational label to receive services through   Step 3: INTERVENTION/TREATMENT
the schools. The team must meet with you to     If your child does not meet the criteria for an
discuss the outcomes of their evaluation and    autism spectrum disorder (or some other
the evaluation must be completed within         category) no further treatment will likely be
certain timelines. Someone on the team will     authorized.
discuss these deadlines with you. If they do
not, you should ask.                            If an educational or medical label is given to
                                                your child, the evaluators will make
You may wish to seek a medical diagnosis        recommendations and referrals for programs
for your child. A medical diagnosis is          and services available in your community.
required before any health insurer will         You are responsible for looking into these
consider paying for mental health related       programs and for paying any required fees.
treatment. It may also be helpful in
qualifying for services through the public      There is no cure for autism and no single,
schools. A psychologist or psychiatrist who     perfect treatment. There are many types of
specializes in working with children with       interventions for children with ASD.
developmental differences must perform this     Information from educators, mental health
type of evaluation. As with an educational      professionals, health professionals, other
label, very specific criteria are used to       parents, books and organizations can be
determine which diagnosis is appropriate for    contradictory and confusing. It is your job to
your child. You should expect the evaluators    work with the people providing evaluation
to meet with you to tell you the results of     and services to find the best fit for your
your child’s evaluation. You can have           child. Ask as many questions as you need in
anyone present at these meetings that you       order to understand the options. Note that
choose. For example, you may want a             not all interventions are covered by school,
friend, advocate, your childcare provider or    insurance or county support. Most families
an interpreter to be present when you           end up developing a menu of services to
discuss next steps for your child.              meet their child’s individual needs. (For a
                                                brief description of various types of
The evaluation and assessment process can       treatments, refer to Resource Sheet E.)
be lengthy and tiring. Very young children
can be difficult to test, especially if they    Some features are unique within the systems
have limited language or behaviors that         serving children with special needs. Public
make it difficult to respond. This can be       schools focus on educational goals for
particularly true for children who show         kindergarten readiness and mental health
autistic- like symptoms. It is not uncommon     services focus on broader skills involved in
to take several months or longer to pinpoint    coping. Early intervention looks at how
a specific diagnosis. One reason is that the    children put all of their skills together in
science of working with these children is       everyday life. A survey of a 100 Fraser®
always evolving. Another reason is that the     clients indicates, on average, families enlist
diagnosis of autism is subjective, based on     in seven intervention services to meet the
behaviors. A clinician who sees a few clients   needs of their child.
with ASD may have a very different view of
Step 3A: FINANCIAL AND MEDICAL                  state law, the IFSP must be reviewed
ASSISTANCE                                      periodically (at six months and then yearly)
There are very separate sources of funding      by the team that created it. Your child’s
for interventions. Public school programs       progress will be reviewed and new goals
identified as appropriate for your child are    may be established. You are an important
provided at no cost to you. Mental health       part of the team and can have anyone
services are paid for through health            present at team meetings that you wish.
insurance and/or your own payments. You
may want to know about the financial and        Treatment goals are also agreed on for
medical assistance options available to         children receiving mental health related
children with special needs. Often, they        services. The people providing services in
must be applied for and approved before         this setting will initiate an Individual
services begin. The application process can     Treatment Plan (ITP) that outlines goals.
be tedious and confusing with complicated       You should be part of this process. The ITP
eligibility requirements, lots of paperwork     guides the interventions your child receives
and specific financial costs/benefits (if you   and is used by insurance providers to
take one kind of benefit, you sometimes lose    authorize payment for services. ITPs are
eligibility for another kind). Some very        also periodically reviewed on a timeline
basic information is presented in Resource      determined by the insurer. This typically
Sheet B. Be sure you know all the pros and      happens more frequently than the IFSP,
cons of any assistance program before you       sometimes monthly. You should be involved
sign up for it. Ask as many questions as you    in this process as much as you want to be.
need in order to understand the issues.
                                                Finally: SUPPORT GROUPS
Step 3B: CASE MANAGEMENT                        Many families report that the most important
You may want to explore available case          step they take is to develop a strong support
management programs. Case management            system. Research indicates the challenges of
services assist you with coordinating           parenting a special needs child increases the
services for your child and family and often    overall stress on the mental health of
are the gatekeepers for a number of services    parents, siblings, and the marital
(such as access to respite care and some        relationship. Some references list the
types of financial assistance). Case            divorce rate as high as 80 percent in families
management programs are further outlined        with children with ASD. For that reason,
in Resource Sheet C.                            individual or marital counseling can be
                                                essential. There are a number of support
Step 4: MONITORING YOUR CHILD’S                 groups and programs specific to autism
PROGRESS                                        available throughout the metro area. These
If your child has qualified for Early           groups provide contact with other families
Childhood Special Education (ECSE)              who are going through, or have gone
services through the public schools, you are    through, similar experiences. They can be an
automatically part of a team that decides the   excellent source of information, contacts and
best kind of programming for your child.        emotional support (see Resource Sheet H).
An Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or     Other family supports include Personal Care
Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be         Attendants (PCAs) and respite care (see
completed (IFSPs are for younger children;      Resource Sheet G). In most cases, you will
IEPs for older children). These documents       need to have financial and medical
outline the services your child will receive    assistance in place to access these services.
through the public schools. Be sure that you    You may, however, begin to explore these
are included in the process to create the       support options while you are applying for
IFSP, understand the goals, and that you        assistance.
approve and sign the form. According to

Entry into services is based on both referral concerns and the eligibility criteria collected in the
evaluation process for each system of service and funding.

                                    Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 14

     Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 15
Fraser® Autism Services
Fraser provides diagnosis, treatment and support for children with autism and their families.
We partner with each family to determine which strategies are most effective and which services are the best
fit. Our approaches feature customized behavioral, psychological, medical, educational and social-based
strategies. For more information, contact our intake department at 612-331-9413 or visit

Fraser evaluations can provide a medical diagnosis, determine appropriate interventions or determine a
child’s progress.
Preschool Day Treatment provides intensive therapeutic intervention in the areas of communication,
interaction, behavior and learning.
Adolescent Asperger’s Clinic provides individual therapy, group therapy and skills training focusing on
building self-esteem and coping skills to enable children to remain in their mainstream school settings.
Skills Training Groups help children develop and use appropriate social skills within small peer groups.
Skills Training (individual or family) focuses on improving specific skills important to the child’s daily-
living activities and participation in the community.
Visual Consultations
Fraser Visual Consultation services assist families in designing visual supports and environments that
promote effective self-management systems, enhanced communication and meaningful social relationships.
These consultations are for pre-school aged children through young adults on the autism spectrum.

Transition Consultations work with individuals and their families to better understand and address the key
areas of the Transition to adulthood: education, employment, community living and community integration.

Behavioral Aide services focus on goals from a child’s individual behavior plan that help to replace
inappropriate behaviors with developmentally and therapeutically appropriate daily-living skills, social
skills, leisure and recreational skills.
Therapy (individual child, group and family therapies) address the social-emotional needs of children and
their families. Therapy promotes adaptive coping skills, decreases at-risk behaviors, and improves overall
functioning in the family.
Occupational and Physical Therapies can help children build fine and gross motor skills; learn self-care skills
(like dressing and feeding); and overcome sensory challenges (such as extreme sensitivity to touch).
Feeding Evaluation and Therapy help children who have problems eating to overcome oral sensory
challenges and swallowing difficulties.
Speech-Language Therapy can help children develop understanding and expression of language.
Music Therapy enhances social/emotional, cognitive/academic and fine/gross motor skills.
Personal Care Assistance provides individuals with support services deemed necessary by a physician. (For
information on this service, call 612-767-5150.)
Home-Based Respite Care provides temporary care for a child within the family’s home to alleviate family
stress caring for the child. (For information on this service, call 612-767-5150.)
Fraser School® is an inclusive early childhood center providing infant, toddler and preschool programs; and
rehabilitation and health services. (For information on Fraser School, call     612-861-1688.)
Fraser is the founder and sponsor of Fraser Academy® an inclusive public elementary school with
individualized learning plans to meet the unique needs of each student. (For information on Fraser Academy, or call 612-465-8600.)

                                   Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 16
Assessment and Evaluation
Educational Label
A team of public school educators will evaluate your child to determine his/her eligibility for special education services. Criteria for all special
education categories, including autism spectrum disorders, are spelled out in the Education State Criteria used across Minnesota. If your child has
been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder from an outside clinician, the educational criteria still needs to be confirmed by the school team
using the education state criteria. Purpose: the purpose of an educational label is to help parents and educators understand how the child learns and to
give insight to behavior and disorder. A label of ASD can also open the door to additional supports and services.

Criteria                    Type of Agency            Assessment Team                         Contact Person           Assessment Process
Home-based assessment       School District           Licensed school psychologist, special   Contact MN Help Me       1.   MN Help Me Grow makes a referral to
(Birth to 3 years of age)   Early Childhood Special   education teacher, speech therapist,    Grow to find your             School District for screening and
                            Education (ECSE)          occupational therapist, autism          local referral source         assessment.
                                                      specialist and parent.                  http://www.parentskno    2.   Assessment completed by school team.
                                                                                            If no medical diagnosis exists, referrals
                                                      Staff involvement may include           now/Newborn/HelpM             may be made to a school psychologist for
                                                      formal testing and/or record review.    eGrow_SpecialNeeds/           evaluation for an educational label of
                                                      The level of staff involvement          ReferChild/ ml        autism.
                                                      depends on the needs of the child.      ?redirectNodeId=New      3.   Assessment team determines the child’s
                                                                                              born 1-866-693-               eligibility for ECSE services.
                                                                                              GROW (4769)              4.   A team meeting is held with family and a
                                                                                                                            written plan (IFSP) is developed.
                                                                                              Anoka Help Me Grow:
                            School District           Licensed school psychologist, special   Contact MN Help Me       1.   MN Help Me Grow makes a referral to
Center-based assessment     Early Childhood Special   education teacher, speech therapist,    Grow to find your             School District for screening and
(Age 3 by September 1       Education (ECSE)          occupational therapist and parent.      local referral source         assessment.
through kindergarten)                                                                         http://www.parentskno    2.   Assessment team observes child in
                                                                                            natural environment (home, preschool)
                                                                                              now/age3_5/index.htm     3.   Assessment team determines eligibility
                                                                                              l                             for services and placement options.
                                                                                              1-866-693-GROW           4.   Team meeting is held with the family and
                                                                                              (4769)                        a written plan (IEP) is developed.

                                                         Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 17
Medical Diagnosis
A medical diagnosis is assigned by a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in working with children with developmental differences. Criteria
established by the psychological and medical community are used to support diagnoses within the broad category of Pervasive Developmental
Disorder, which includes autism. Purpose: a medical diagnosis of autism may lead to recommendations for a broad range of interventions beyond the
educational realm. These may include referrals for neurologists, private rehabilitation services, county social services, financial support, family
support and guidance, therapy, etc.

             Agency                        Assessment Team                     Contact Person             Assessment Process
             Fraser                        Team of mental health               Intake coordinator         1.   Parents and child attend three-hour
                   professionals and autism            (612) 767-7222 multiple         assessment at the center.
                                           specialists                         locations                  2.   First hour is spent interviewing family.
                                                                                                          3.   Second hour, testing/observation/
                                                                                                          4.   Last hour, findings and
                                                                                                               recommendations are shared with the
             The Alexander Center –        Psychologist, M.D., therapists      952-993-2498               1.   Assessment of children with
             Park Nicollet                                                                                     developmental and behavioral disorders.
                                                                     2.   Consultation with schools, individual
             ndercenter/                                                                                       family counseling and education.

             University of Minnesota       Psychiatrist, psychologist, M.D.    612-625-7466               Provide assessment and diagnosis.
             Autism Spectrum and                                     
             Neurodevelopmental                                                inneuro/home.html
             Disorders (ASD) Clinic
             Sheila Merzer & Associates    Licensed psychologists              952-928-7811               Provide assessment and diagnosis.

             Dr. Raymond Tervo             Developmental Pediatrician          651-291-2848               Provide assessment and diagnosis.
             Dr. Kim McConnell                                                 Gillette Children’s
                                            200 E. University Ave.
                                                                               St. Paul, MN 55101
             Counseling Psychologists of   Psychologists                       7582 Currell Blvd, # 108   Assessment, therapy, social skills
             Woodbury, P.A.                                                     Woodbury, MN 55125
             Robin McLeod, PhD, LP                                              (651) 739-7539

                                                           Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 18
Financial and Medical Assistance
Applying for developmental disability care management services is key to accessing other disability services. Counties are responsible for
determining eligibility for disability programs and most start their screening process through a telephone call. When contacting your county,
requesting a developmental disability screening and developmental disability case management is a helpful starting point.

Financial &         Description                      Benefit                              Eligibility                                       Contact/application process
Private Insurance   Coverage received as benefit     Benefits vary based on the plan.     Eligibility is dependent on group coverage.       Contact your employer’s human
                    of employment. Private           Refer to provider for details.       Refer to provider for details.                    resource department or call the
                    insurance always acts as the                                                                                            number on the back of the
                    primary funding source.                                                                                                 insurance card.
SSI                 Monthly income for your          Maximum benefit amount is $500        Disability must be medically verified and        Call the Social Security
                    child with a disability          per month.                              result in major limitations in two broad          Administration at
                                                                                             areas of functioning or extreme limitations     1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-
                                                                                             in one area of functioning.                       325-0778). Process may take
                                                                                           Condition must last or be expected to last at      3-4 months but eligibility goes
                                                                                             least 12 months or be expected to result in       back to the date of application.
                                                                                             death.                                          Families should start the
                                                                                           Family income guidelines must be met.              application process even if all
                                                                                           Family assets are considered                       the information is not available
                                                                                           Usually if a child is eligible for                 (e.g. doctor reports)
                                                                                             AFDC/TANF, he/she would be eligible for        Check www.db101 or
                                                                                             SSI, but cannot receive both. Family  for more
                                                                                             chooses the best option.                       information
TEFRA Option        Medical Assistance coverage      Examples of covered expenses:        Eligibility criteria used is the same as SSI.     Contact DHS at 651-431-2670 or
under Medical       for your child with disability    inpatient/outpatient care           The level of care needed must be similar        outside of Metro: 800-657-3739
Assistance (MA)     residing at home. Eligibility     medical transportation                but cannot exceed what would be provided       Web site:
                    is based only on your child’s     prescribed drugs                      in a medical facility.               
                    income and assets.                therapies                           Parent’s income is used to determine a          idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNA
                                                      prosthetic devices                    monthly fee amount that is applied toward      MIC_CONVERSION&RevisionS
                                                      eyeglasses                            the cost of MA and county services. A          electionMethod=LatestReleased&
                                                      audiology                             worksheet is available to estimate the         dDocName=id_007117
                                                                                             parent fee.                                    For disability determination
                                                      dental care
                                                      laboratory and X-ray                If fees go over the actual cost of services,    through the State Medical Review
                                                                                             they are applied toward the next year’s        Team contact 651-431-2670 or
                                                      health insurance premiums                                                            outside of Metro: 800-657-3529
                                                                                             parent fee.
                                                      home health ordered by
                                                       physician: private nursing, PCA,
                                                       medical supplies and equipment,
                                                       diapers for children over 4.
                                                      hospice care
                                                               Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 19
Financial &          Description                    Benefit                                Eligibility                                        Contact/application process
Medical Assistance   Medical Assistance for your    Covered expenses are the same as       Families complete an MA application to             To apply or for more information:
(MA)                 child/family based on your     TEFRA. Examples of covered             determine eligibility. If your child is eligible   Hennepin County 612-348-4500
                     family’s income.               expenses:                              for SSI he/she is also eligible for MA.            (Children Birth-5 contact 612-
Developmental                                        inpatient/outpatient care                                                               348-TOTS)
Disability Intake                                    medical transportation               Families who are eligible for MA may also be       Anoka County 763-422-7176
Lines (County)                                       prescribed drugs                     eligible for WIC, but families need to             Ramsey County: 651-266-4500
                                                     therapies                            complete separate WIC application.                 Dakota County: 651-554-6000
                                                     prosthetic devices                                                                      Carver County: 952-361-1693
                                                     eyeglasses                                                                              Web site:
                                                     audiology                                                                     
                                                     dental care
                                                     laboratory and X-ray
                                                     health insurance premiums                                                               dDocName=id_006254
                                                     home health ordered by
                                                      physician such as private
                                                      nursing, PCA, medical supplies
                                                      and equipment, diapers for
                                                      children over 4.
                                                     hospice care

Minnesota            People with limited English    DHS multilingual telephone             DHS Multilingual Referral Lines                    651-201-3650
Children with        proficiency can now use the    referral lines operate in 10           Arabic - (800) 358-0377                            1-800-728-5420
Special Health                                                                                                                                TTY: 1-800-627-3529
                     Minnesota Department of        languages -- Arabic, Hmong,            Hmong - (888) 486-8377
Needs (MCSHN)
                     Human Services' multilingual   Khmer (Cambodian), Laotian,            Khmer (Cambodian) - (888) 468-3787
                     telephone service numbers to   Oromo, Russian, Serbo-Croatian         Laotian - (888) 487-8251                           Children and Youth with Special
                                                                                                                                              Health Needs
                     access early childhood         (Bosnian), Somali, Spanish,            Oromo - (888) 234-3798
                     programs and services.                                                                                                   Minnesota Department of Health
                                                    Vietnamese -- and are owned by         Russian - (888) 562-5877
                                                    DHS and operated by contracted         Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian) - (888) 234-3785          85 East Seventh Place / P.O. Box
                                                    vendors. People who speak little or    Somali - (888) 547-8829
                                                                                                                                              St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
                                                    no English can reach someone who       Spanish - (888) 428-3438
                                                    speaks their language (live or voice   Vietnamese - (888) 554-8759
                                                    mail) and be referred to the                                                              E-mail:
                                                    appropriate state or county human                                               
                                                    services provider. There is no cost                                                       FAX: 651-201-3655
                                                    to use these lines.
                                                                                                                                              Web site:

                                                              Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 20
Financial &          Description                       Benefit                             Eligibility                                        Contact/application process
MN Care              Assists in payment for            Monthly premium is based on         Qualifications:                                    651-297-3862 or 1-800-657-3672
                     medical, dental and               income and family size.              Permanent resident of Minnesota.                 TTY: (800) 627-3529 or 711
                     preventative care.                                                     Not eligible for MA                              Or write:
                                                       May be a co-pay when you receive     Not covered by any other health insurance        MinnesotaCare
                                                       health care services.                 for the last four months.                        PO Box 64838
                                                                                            Unable to get health insurance that is at        St. Paul, MN 55164-0838
                                                                                             least half paid for by your employer for the     Web:
                                                                                             last 18 months.                                  idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNA
                                                                                            Meet the MN Care income guidelines               MIC_CONVERSION&RevisionS
MA Waivers           The state of Minnesota has        Coverage same as MA, plus:          Must have an unmet service need.                   MA Waivers are administered
                     obtained approval from the         case management                                                                      through the county and the child
                     federal government to waive        respite care                      Available to people with cognitive disabilities    must be assessed through the
Home and             certain Medical Assistance         homemaker services                and related conditions.                            Developmental Disabilities
community-based      eligibility requirements for       in-home family support            Parent income is not considered in                 Division. In Hennepin County, to
services for         people who would like to           assistive technology              determining eligibility, but there is a parental   begin the process for children
persons with         remain at home but are being       day habilitation                  fee for services.                                  birth to 3, contact 612-348-4500.
mental retardation   placed in, or are at risk of
                                                        supported living services (SLS)
and related          being placed in institutions or                                                                                          For children 3-18, contact the
                                                        environmental modifications
conditions           long-term care facilities.                                                                                               Hennepin County Developmental
                                                         and others
(Title 19 Waiver)                                                                                                                             Disabilities Division Intake 612-

                                                                                                                                              VCM10000049114689RCRD or

                                                                 Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 21
Financial &        Description                        Benefit                                 Eligibility                                     Contact/application process
Family Support     The Family Support Grant           Grants must be spent on services         Annual adjusted gross income not to           MA Waivers are administered
Grant Program      program provides state cash        and items directly related to caring      exceed $96,566.                               through the county and the child
                   grants to families of children     for the child’s special needs.           Child must be determined by a case            must be assessed through the
                   with certified disabilities.       (Expenses above the normal costs          manager to be at risk for out-of-home         Developmental Disabilities
                   The goal of the program is to      of caring for the child if he/she did     placement to a licensed residential           Division. In Hennepin County, to
                   prevent or delay the out-of-       not have a disability may be              program.                                      begin the process for children
                   home placement of children         covered.)                                Average limit for a monthly payment is        birth to 3, contact 612-348-4500.
                   with disabilities and promote                                                $250.                                         For children 3-18, contact the
                   family health and social well-     The number of available Family           Must have a DD or MH Case manager.            Hennepin County Developmental
                   being by facilitating access to    Support Grants is limited.                                                              Disabilities Division Intake 612-
                   family-centered services and                                                                                               348-4500.
                   supports.                          Families cannot receive services                                                        Web
                                                      through both the Family Support                                               
                                                      Grant and the DD Waiver or PCA.                                                         e/HennepinUS/menuitem.b1ab75
                                                                                                                                              VCM10000049114689RCRD or
Child Respite      Cash grant to families to be                                               Adjusted gross income not to exceed $70,500.    Family must have an open case in
Grant              used to pay licensed or non-                                                                                               the Developmental Disabilities
                   licensed providers.                                                                                                        Division.
Consumer Support   Provides a monthly support         More flexible ways to use funding • Be recipients of or eligible for Medical            Contact your local county
Grant (CSG)        grant to offset costs related to   – can fund special diets, parental   Assistance                                         Developmental Disability Intake.
                   the recipient’s disability.        care, adaptive clothing, therapeutic • Be eligible to receive home care services
                   This program is an alternate       horseback riding, music or art       from the Medical Assistance Home Care              Hennepin: 612-348-4500
                   to PCA services, so client         therapy and family counseling.       Program
                   must be eligible for PCA or                                             • Demonstrate limitations in everyday    
                   get the screening for PCA.                                              functioning, such as, self-care, language,         idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNA
                                                                                           learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for   MIC_CONVERSION&RevisionS
                                                                                           independent living and economic self-              electionMethod=LatestReleased&
                                                                                           sufficiency                                        dDocName=id_004735
                                                                                           • Require ongoing supports to live in the
                                                                                           • Live in a natural home setting Must be
                                                                                           eligible for PCA & MA
                                                                                         • A parent must attend one of the monthly
                                                                                           trainings and complete the 4 page plan.

                                                                 Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 22
Case Management/Service Coordination
Agency                  Description                            Benefit                                  Eligibility                           Contact/application process
Hennepin County         A county social worker (DD             The DD worker helps families apply       Hennepin County Residents -           Call Aging and Disability
Developmental           worker) is assigned as case            for respite care, waivered services      dependent on needs, program and       Services (ADS) Initial
Disabilities (DD)       manager and assists children with      and family support grants (services      income. Medical Assistance is         Consultation at 612-348-4500.
Division                significant developmental              received based on eligibility criteria   needed to qualify for some but        Email:
                        disabilities and their families with   and availability of funds). DD worker    not all programs. Generally tested
                        accessing and coordinating social      also provides advocacy, support and      IQ score of 70 or below.
                        services.                              ideas for community resources.                                       
Hennepin County         This is the central intake referral    Case managers consult with families      Minneapolis resident under the        To begin the eligibility process,
Birth to 3 Program:     source for early intervention          and involved service providers           age of 3 years with developmental     call 612-348-4111
612-348-4111            services for children ages 0-3 in      regarding the child’s medical,           concerns; meets criteria for          or
                        Minneapolis. Provides early            educational and social service needs.    developmental delay or related        Email Jane Auger
                        childhood screening and                Families are assisted in applying for    conditions OR is placed in an at-
                        intervention assistance to families    supportive services such as: financial   risk category with documented
                        with children who have or may be       assistance programs, in-home and         substantial delays on a
                        at risk for developmental delays       out-of-home respite care, home           standardized assessment
                        or disabilities.                       adaptations and counseling services.
Minnesota Help Me       If you have concerns about your        Authorizes services for children         Each type of service has specific     http://www.parentsknow.state.
Grow                    child’s development, call 1-866-       under the age of 6, including:           guidelines for authorization.
                        693-GROW (4769)                         preschool day treatment                Some have income guidelines,          elpMeGrow_SpecialNeeds/Refe
                                                                family-focused therapy                 some a sliding fee scale. Each        rChild/index.html
                        Once a referral is made to the          respite care                           may have priorities if resources
                        local early intervention program,       subsidized day care                    are limited.
                        the family will be contacted to
                        arrange for a screening or
                        evaluation to determine if your
                        child is eligible for infant and
                        toddler intervention or preschool
                        special education services.
Hennepin County         All crisis services provided by a      Consultation, crisis assessment,         Hennepin County children and          612-348-2233 or Email:
Child Crisis Services   licensed mental health                 intervention and stabilization,          adolescents who are experiencing      HSPH.Frontdoor.Screener@co
                        professional or by a mental health     facilitation of psychiatric              a mental health crisis. There is no
                        practitioner under the clinical        hospitalization                          charge for services.        
                        supervision of a mental health
Minneapolis Public      Work with staff and families to        Offers a continuum of ECSE service     Eligibility is determined through       Rochelle Cox, ECSE
Schools Early           coordinate ECSE services/provide       settings reflecting the natural        screening at 612-348-TOTS, and          Administrator 612-668-5104
Childhood Special       advocacy for the child and family.     progression of growth of children      observation and evaluation              Donna Asher, Birth to 5 Autism
Education                                                      from infancy to preschoolers. These    through Minneapolis Public              612-668-5102
                                                               settings are home based, community     Schools.                      
                                                               based, center based, or autism
                                                                   Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 23
Treatment and Intervention Agencies
Early Childhood Special Education
Agency                                Services/Programs                                                          Contact Information
Fraser ®                                 Center-based ECSE services                                             Fraser School
                                         Speech, occupational, music and physical therapies                     2400 W. 64th St.
                                         Health services, respite care and home services                        Minneapolis, MN 55423
                                         Inclusive preschool for children with typical or special needs         612-861-1688
Minneapolis Public Schools             Home-based intervention                                                  To begin intake process, contact 612-348-4111.
                                       Center-based ECSE classroom                                              For program questions, contact the Director of Special
                                       Toddler and preschool center-based classroom for children who            Education, Ann Fox, 612-668-5402
                                        demonstrate autism spectrum behaviors
                                       Community preschool in a typical preschool setting             
                                       Other services may include speech and occupational therapy,
                                        depending on the needs of the child

Day Treatment
Agency                                Services/Programs                                                          Contact Information
Fraser ®                              Includes one-to-one treatment sessions and group interventions in a        Minneapolis: 3333 University Ave. S.E.
Fraser Autism Program                 therapeutic setting. Psychology, occupational therapy, speech therapy      Anoka: 2829 Verndale Avenue, Suite 3
                                      and music therapy are integral components of the program. Separate         Bloomington: 1801 American Boulevard East, Suite 1
                                      programs are available for toddlers and preschoolers.                      612-767-7222
St. David’s Child and Family Center   Includes one-to-one treatment sessions and group interventions in a        3395 Plymouth Rd.
                                      therapeutic setting. Psychology, occupational therapy, speech              Minnetonka, MN 55305
                                      therapy, and music therapy are integral components of the program.         952-939-0396

Inclusive Preschool
Agency                                Services/Programs                                                          Contact Information
Fraser School®                        Offers a variety of services for children, including integrated            2400 W. 64th St.
                                      preschool, rehabilitation services, health services, respite care, Ready   Minneapolis, MN 55423
                                      4K curriculum and home services for children with disabilities.            612-861-1688
St. David’s Child and Family Center   Offers a variety of services for children, including integrated            3395 Plymouth Rd.
                                      preschool and home services for children with disabilities.                Minnetonka, MN 55305

                                                           Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 24
Behavioral Training
Behavioral Training Agency                Services/Programs                                                           Contact Information
Autism Matters                                                                                              
                                                                                                                      Autism Matters, Inc.
                                                                                                                      Minnetonka, Rogers

                                                                                                                      Ph: 952-544-0349
Behavioral Dimensions Inc.                Provides short and long-term consultation, counseling and therapy,          7010 Highway 7
                                          IBI- intense behavioral intervention.                                       St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Behavioral Therapy Solutions of MN        Evaluations, in-home ABA                                                    700 Commerce Drive, Ste. 260 Woodbury, MN 55125
Brih Design, LLC                          Brih Design is a small, private consulting firm. They provide support       6066 Shingle Creek Parkway
                                          and services to people who exhibit difficult (to manage) behaviors.          PMB 172
                                                                                                                       Brooklyn Center, MN 55430763-560-1614
Fraser ®                                  Mental health practitioners provide short-term family, group or             Fraser 3333 University Ave. S.E.
                                          individual skills training. Behavioral aides work one-on-one with a         Minneapolis, MN 55414
                                          child to improve skills and implement individual behavior plan goals.       612- 767-7222
                                          This helps to replace inappropriate skills with developmentally and
                                          therapeutically appropriate daily-living, social and recreational skills.
Helena Family Support Autism Therapy      Half-day therapy and skills training programs for children two to           5301 east River Rd. NE, Ste. 110
Center                                    seven.                                                                      Fridley, MN 55421
Holland Center                            Center-base verbal behavioral intervention program. Also has a focus        10273 Yellow Circle Dr. Minnetonka, MN 55343
                                          on gluten-free/casein-free diet.                                            952-401-9359

The Lazarus Project                       Center-based cooperative serving children 2-9 years old with                3021 Harbor Lane N Suite LL105, Plymouth MN
                                          intensive early intervention, applied behavior therapy.                     55447
Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention   Home-based ABA intervention program.                                        LIFE Midwest Treatment Headquarters
(LIFE) Midwest, Inc.                      Clinical Director: Eric Larsson, PhD                                        2925 Dean Pkwy., Suite 300
                                                                                                                      Minneapolis, MN 55416
                                                                                                                      612- 925-8365
Minnesota Autism Center (MAC)             Services include behavioral therapy, home-based early intervention,         Minnesota Autism Center
5 locations                               center based intervention and consultation with schools and other           5710 Baker Road
                                          agencies.                                                                   Minnetonka, MN 55345
                                                                                                                      Office - 952.767.4200
                                                                                                                      Minnetonka, Eagan, Rochester, Woodbury, Mankato
                                                               Fraser Autism Resource Directory, page 25
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