Maryland Passes Autism Insurance Reform

Maryland Families Get Insurance Coverage for Autism

Through the tremendous work of organizations such as Pathfinders for Autism and Autism Speaks many more families in Maryland now have access to insurance coverage for autism as a result of legislation and regulation recently enacted.

The new requirements apply to individual, fully funded small and large group plans, the state employee health plan and coverage purchased through Maryland’s health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act. The coverage includes a minimum of 25 hours weekly of ABA up to age six, and then 10 hours weekly through age 18.

Have questions? Trellis can help you navigate the insurance maze.

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What is the VB-MAPP?

Put simply, the VB-MAPP is a tool that we use at Trellis to assess and develop learning plans for young learners with autism.

Based on the work of renowned behaviorist B.F. Skinner, the VB-MAPP or Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. There are three core components to the VB-MAPP:

  1. The Milestones Assessment includes 170 measurable learning and language milestones which are designed to assess a learners existing verbal and related skills. We use this tool to help us design a individualized intervention strategy for our learners.
  2. The Barriers Assessments helps identify the specific challenges a learner is having with learning and language acquisitions.
  3. The Transition Assessment helps assess whether a learner is ready to move to a less restrictive learning environment. We use it to understand how our learners are progressing toward their goals.
  4. The Task Analysis and Skills Tracking forms the basis for daily skill building. There are over 900 skills in this tool.

Collectively, these four components of the VB-MAPP represent over 30 years of research, clinical work, field-testing, and revisions (Partington & Sundberg, 1998; Sundberg, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1990; Sundberg & Michael, 2001; Sundberg & Partington, 1998; Sundberg, Ray, Braam, Stafford, Rueber, & Braam, 1979).

At Trellis, we often use the VB-MAPP to determine where a young learner is functioning in comparison to neurotypical children at the same chronological age.  Skills and goals are then chosen based on that assessment and implemented throughout each session.  In the Trellis School, additional goals from the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards are selected and taught.  Data on all skills, goals/ and ehaviors are tracked on the students’ weekly data sheets.

Trellis Hosts Annual Autism Awareness Fundraiser

Over 350 people attended Trellis’s annual fundraiser in support of Pathfinders for Autism.

The event was a tremendous success raising over $10,000 for Maryland’s leading autism advocacy group. The highlight of the event was the keynote speech from Towson Univeristy Men’s Basketball Coach, Pat Skerry. Coach Skerry, who is a member of the Trellis community, has been a tremendous advocate for raising awareness about autism across the country.

You can learn more about Pat’s efforts in this Washington Post article.