February 10, 2022, Illinois Autism Task Force Meeting


February 10, 2022

10am - 12pm


  1. Introductions
  2. Workgroup Updates
    1. Transition
    2. Insurance
    3. Act Early
    4. Adult Services
  3. Division Updates- (DD, EI, DRS, DMH, ISBE)
  4. New Business
    1. Autism Society Illinois - Chicago Chapter
  5. Old Business
  6. Announcements
  7. Next Steps
  8. 2022 Calendar year schedule

Full Autism Task Force:

  • Thursday May 12, 2022, 10:00 A.M. to noon
  • Thursday August 11, 2022, 10:00 A.M. to noon
  • Thursday November 10, 2022, 10:00 A.M. to noon
  • Subcommittee meetings prior to next full task force meeting:

Act Early:

  • Wednesday February 23, 2022 1:00 PM
  • Wednesday March 23, 2022, 1:00 PM
  • Wednesday April 27, 2022 1:00 PM

Autism Insurance Subcommittee:

  • Monday February 28, 2022,11:00 AM
  • Monday March 21, 2022, 11:00 AM
  • Monday April 18, 2022 11:00 AM

Adult Services Subcommittee:

  • Thursday March 3, 2022, 11:00 AM
  • Thursday April 7, 2022 11:00 AM
  • Thursday May 4, 2022 11:00 AM

Autism Transition Subcommittee:

  • Thursday March 9, 2022, 10:00 AM
  • Thursday April 13, 2022, 10:00 AM
  • Thursday May 11, 2022 10:00 AM

Meeting Minutes

*Meeting was held via WebEx


  • Task Force Present:

    • Dr Kruti Acharya
    • Patti Boheme, Co-Chair
    • Mo Buti
    • Pete DiCianni, Co-Chair
    • Tony DiVittorio
    • Ann Frieburg
    • Dr. Ramiro Gamucio
    • Christine Hammond
    • Terry Herbstritt
    • Sherry Ladislas
    • Kiya Olson
    • Amy Pfister
    • Paula Powers
    • Cari Roestel
    • Ruth Ann Sikora
    • Allison Stark
    • Kristin Wagner
    • Sean Weldon
  • Partners Present:

    • Krescene Beck
    • Rich Bobby
    • Ebonie Davis
    • Shannon Dyson
    • Julie Hart
    • Heather Hofferkamp
    • Christine Johnson
    • Mary Kelly
    • Wanda Malone
    • Jinny Davis
    • Mariel Hamer-Sinclair
    • Ashley Showalter
    • Laura Mulford
    • Kristin Gharst
    • Marla Root
    • Lesley Shawler

Workgroup Updates


  • Working on survey for parents and families to get understanding on parent knowledge. Ages up through 22. Hope to have out by Spring


  • Still lacking federal on Erisas. Trying to get early diagnosis in, as well as the three- year re-diagnosis. Process of narrowing our focus down to 4-5 strong points. May require legislative movement.
  • On the ABA autism speaks has been huge in trying to get the implementation, they have taken the lead.
  • There is also a pushing to get licensure to BCBA because of the SPA language, with the extra layer written into the plan, there will not be money to pay for that extra layer. The licensure bill is moving forward. It is in the Healthcare licensing committee.
  • There is also a data collection bill to shine inequities. Hopefully that will move the bills along SB4006- collecting data
  • HB4769- licensure. We appreciate Autism Speaks for taking the lead. Julie said they will share with us information to pass on.
  • Dr Gumucio had a meeting with BCBAS lead. It is inequitable to think they are mandating a 3-year re-diagnosis. As the task force if we wrote a letter we might be recognized. He did not know this was happening. A letter that as the task force, we find this to be inequitable. He offered me a meeting with CEOs Derrick Robinson MD. David Faich has the actual data. *Patti asked for a meeting with Pete, Patti, and RamiroAct Earl

Act Early:

  • Cari and Kruti: We have not met in the new year, but we had a strategic planning in the last meeting. We updated our roster, so we have a smaller engaged group. Working with EI providers and partnering with ICAP. Knowledge gap within EI about ABA and working to address that with continuing education topics.

Adult Service:

  • Looking at the flexibility and best waiver services for different states. We are meeting monthly, one of the priorities we are focused on is the flexibility of the day programs and work. We are currently researching other states and how funding is tied in to do this through Medicaid waiver programs. We hope to show states that are doing good things that we can use as examples

Division Updates- (DD, EI, DRS, DMH, ISBE)


  • Paula:Two projects that ISBE partners with; 1) The Autism Technical assistance project ISBE.net, Webinar series- one each month. 2) The other is understanding Autism
  • Pete- A bit of history - the Autism Technical Assistant project IATTAP we had fought for, but it was removed.
  • Paula it is now the Autism technical assistance project in partnership with Illinois. This is a different project and funded differently.
  • The ATTA has been many years the new one is the A+ which is support for educators.


  • Kristin In process of FY 23 contracts- I manage all contracts for DRS
  • RuthAnn- task force entities are to be involved with feedback loop on customized employment
  • Kristin- worked on annual report for customized employment and the gathering of information for calendar 2021, I can find out where it goes.


  • Constance Preparing to launch 988, July 16 a nationwide 3-digit number to connect callers to a suicide or crisis number anywhere in the United States to the lifeline. We have a grant to plan for this implementation partnering with 6 partners. It will be a big deal like 911. Going to be anyone with mental health crisis - call centers throughout the state. The point is so we don't have to involve police and fire and can deal on the mental health side for people who have emotional issues as opposed to criminal issues. We are working with the 911 people as well.
  • Jinny: I don't think they realized when they put SESA together, I don't think they know what to do with Steven Watts -it takes different type of training. TJ and I are going to explore together. When we have programs like this, we are looking for suicide assistance because we feel very misunderstood. Even SESA needs to be perfected.
  • Will there be cross training for autism- many times parents can't get help and get overwhelmed.


  • Ann and Heather. Moved to own division of early childhood. In process of hiring all new people to take care. Legislature under extended services - families will be offered option of extended services at no cost who turned 3 in last months of spring.
  • DD:

    • Allison Gov introduced budget last week with 209 million, historic budget,
    • 140 m guide house rate study, home based services
    • 26 m Puns
    • 15 m- home based program
    • 26 m to 2% increases to providers
    • 4 visits per year for independent service coordinators
    • Buffer for continued COVID needs.
    • Huge investment in the DD system
    • Division working with legislators and introduced 2 bills, DST bill earlier requirement to require direct support credentialing. (Trained to work with IDD in homes- family and group) verifying the training accurately prepares them for a job working with IDD. We want to update the language. Want it called Direct Support Professionals and referenced that way in law
    • Updating definition of IDD because across many statutes there are a lot of different definitions. One of the challenges is the current definition limits availability for services. Both up to 22 for services, the list of diagnosis limits who can receive services and took the broadest definition. All other statutes will than refer to ours. We want to be the most inclusive we can for getting access to services


  • Any thoughts on IQ over 70? They would be included under developmental disability, and we want to get away from IQ based.
  • SS went up 5.9% this year, but also many rates increase for services so buying power may not see as much increase.
  • Comment - it still squeezes the person they are left with less. We can't deny that we did not wish we could get more - there is no end to the needs so we strive to use the dollars to the best of our ability.
  • Comment on definition- pay more attention to the 6 life functioning areas that limit an individual.

New Business

Ramiro - town halls on ABA, conference - one yesterday. I decided to open this chapter in Chicago for people who have been marginalized in the city. I need leaders like yourself- one or two meetings per month guiding people to different services. We have a chapter in southern Illinois but not Chicago.

Old Business

Propose that we put on the agenda someone from ISBE and DMH on how it is important for the ASD population.


  • N/A

Next Steps

  • N/A

2022 Calendar year schedule

Full Autism Task Force:

  • Thursday May 12, 2022, 10:00 A.M. to noon
  • Thursday August 18, 2022, 10:00 A.M. to noon
  • Thursday November 10, 2022, 10:00 A.M. to noon

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