March 27, 2012 Illinois Autism Task Force Meeting

Illinois Department of Human Services, Autism Taskforce Meeting


March 27, 2011
1 - 3:00 pm


Springfield: 100 S. Grand Avenue East, 3rd Floor Executive Video Conference Room

Chicago: 401 S. Clinton, 7th Floor, Executive Video Conference Room


  1. Introductions

    Welcome to Kevin Casey

  2. Division Updates (DDD, EI, DRS,DMH, ISBE)
  3. Budget Updates
  4. Workgroup Updates
    1. Information Clearinghouse Update Report
    2. Training/Education Update Report
  5. Law Enforcement Training
    1. DRS/DD Subcommittee
    2. Act Early Subcommittee
    3. Adult Services Committee
  6. Autism Research Fund Update
  7. Ligas
  8. Integrated Care
  9. Proposal for Future Activities
  10. Announcements
    1. 2012 Ethics Form Distribution and Return
  11. Next Steps
  12. 2012 Meeting Schedule
    • May 8, 2012
    • August 14, 2012
    • November 13, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Dr. Edwin Cook, Brian Rubin, Kevin Casey, Ruth Ann Sikora, Sherry Ladislas, Patti Boheme, Terry Herbstritt, Randy Staton, Christine Hammond, Tracy Aldridge, Dean Myles, Lucy Bilaver, Audrey Gorman, Tyrin Rencher, Seth Harkins, Ann Cutler, Michelle Phillips, Tara Glavin, Eileen DeRoze, Bronwyn Rains, Geunyeon Pyo, Carl LaMell, Ellen Adcock, Susan Szekely, Ellen Griffin, Alexander Brown, Clare Tessman 

1. Introductions and Welcome:

Co-chair Brian Rubin opened the meeting with an introduction of Director Kevin Casey. Kevin will be taking the lead for DHS for the Autism Task Force.

2. Division Updates:

DD Update:

(Kevin Casey) Sufficient dollars have been allocated in the budget to implement Ligas in this coming year. There are also sufficient dollars to go through the process of closing Jacksonville and begin the process for the Murry Center.

DD is taking a look at Policy in the division; any proposed policy change will be shared with the community for input before changes are implemented.

DD is submitting the DD waiver renewal to the Federal Government, there is a wide range of input on what everyone wants in the waiver.

A question was raised on money for rebalancing and to satisfy Ligas - is there a contingency plan if the closing of the centers is not going to happen, currently there is a bill on the table to stop the closures.

The proposed bill would require both houses to approve any closures of a Center which would make any closures extremely difficult. DHS is opposed to the bill.

EI Update:

(Eileen DeRoze) EI continues to track the number of children with Autism diagnosis. This number increased from 128 to approximately 500. February numbers are at 514 and it appears to have reached a plateau although we have many children entering and leaving the system at all the times.

Federal Regulation set in place in October requires reviewing Policy and procedure to get in line with regulations.

EI office is in the process of moving to a new location in Springfield.

A question was raised if diagnosis data can be obtained from CBOs? EI did not know if this type of data can be collected through a billing system Eileen will check, we could see by this data if there is under reporting.

Another question came up regarding whether the Cornerstone system was being replaced?

EI is moving to software which looks at billing and front end data gathering. This is currently in the development stages and plan is to roll out in 1 1/2 to 2 yrs. The result is developing a better system to capture data. One barrier is that many times the diagnostics are not provided.

DRS Update:

(Randy Staton) DRS continue to search for a new director. In Voc Rehab Eligibility certifications are all up may be the result of the media campaign. For transitioning youth we had a finding - we weren't placing students in plan status while they were in school. Historically we did a plan while they were seniors in high school. Now as soon as a person is eligible they are given a plan. We are doing this as a phase in plan until we catch up.

Home Services Budget: Proposed changes the eligibility threshold will be increased from 29-37. The Service Cost Maximums for customers will be decreased. This may reduce services to up to 14,000 customers. Individuals with a diagnosis of mental illness or developmental disabilities who do not qualify for HSP based on their physical disabilities will not be eligible for HSP. With the exception of Respite, services to individuals under the age of 18 will be eliminated. This change will impact up to 1,300 customers. Individuals in the Brain Injury Waiver, who do not need specialized service, will be transitioned to the persons with Disabilities Waiver. This will impact approximately 3,000 customers.

DMH Update:

No updates

ISBE Update:

PUNS Link will be on the ISBE Website

3. Budget Updates:

DD did reasonably well we did get Ligas dollars and rebalancing dollars. There was a cut in grant dollars. Mental Health took some serious cuts, EI is OK, and DRS home services have the proposed changes as presented earlier.

4. Workgroup Updates:

a. Autism Information Clearinghouse:

(Ruth Ann Sikora) The group has met multiple meetings. We are clearing up some problems with our URL address, Chris and Jamie are working on this and it will then be a link to the DHS webpage. We met with Patti on the Training catalogue and need to do more work on how we are going to present this document. We plan to have one version of charting the system up by our May meeting, we can get it up quickly for the professional group but we want to work on a different version more user friendly for the parent/caregiver group.

We will be asking assistance of experts on the task force in developing content for the Finding Help in Illinois based on their expertise.

b. Training and Education:

(Patti Boheme) We have worked on refining the training catalogue. Patti met with the clearinghouse group about posting it; we discussed keeping the list updated either annually or bi-annually. We are still working on putting it in a user friendly format.

1. Law Enforcement Training:

There is a real concern on the lack of education for First Responders/Police. There is law enforcement training programs available however it is voluntary. The training is readily available however it is actively resisted because it takes officers on the streets off the job.

Firefighters are slightly different - there is online training for all of them, it is not mandated but it is free. The question is how the ATF can be a catalyst to urge them to increase focus on getting the training.

The Autism Program is revisiting First Responder training - they have formed a committee to assist in doing a better job and to actively take a look and come up with a better product. This does not mean a stoppage of the training that is already in progress but revising.

Kevin stated that Temple University had a First responder training that is considered a good model. Kevin will forward Bronwyn the contact person for that program. The training was developed in response to tragedies in the Philadelphia area.

There are a few steps to developing the training:

  • Get the Product
  • Outreach - and who is going to pay for it.

Discussion followed on the concept that it was better to have regular training than as needed training. Getting key people trained to take back the knowledge train the trainer. If training is going to be mandated it would need to be on line. Perhaps TAP could look at an on-line module. It's impractical to look at face to face training.

c. Act Early Subcommittee:

There has been an increase in screening over the last decade possibly because of training however there are still areas in the state that are not trained in early identification. A webinar was developed for Physicians.

April is Autism Awareness month a mass mailing is planned to all pediatricians in Illinois and family doctors a tri-fold will be sent out with info on early signs and symptoms of Autism It also contains links to many different resources. This mailing is going out to 3000 physicians in the state. Another brochure is a listing of appropriate resources to families after diagnosis from the physician.

ICAAP forums - there is a disparity that needs to be addresses regarding kids on Medicaid that are just not eligible for services.

The Act Early Committee will coordinate with the Clearinghouse committee regarding training listing.

d. DRS/DD subcommittee

Randy DRS reported that we have implemented training to counselors through SIU on Autism.

There are still questions and concerns on the clarification of Supportive Services used outside the waiver. If an individual is on a Waiver DRS counselors are issuing letters saying it was to be served under DD when there is still funds under DRS. Kevin stated he will make sure he talks to Kris and will follow up on this issue.

e. Adult Services Committee:

No Report

5. Ligas:

Kevin reviewed the history of the Ligas Suit. We have 450 people in ICF's who have expressed desire to live in the community. We have now started to serve those people; we have enough funds for 2013 at this point. The settlement will continue for 6 years.

6. Integrated Care:

There is the legislative mandate to go to managed care in process, Illini care and Aetna Better Health. Phase 3 may be a larger concern which places all DD service providers into the Managed Care although it would be doubtful they would want to take over all residential services. Some of the ongoing issues - Individuals with Medicare are not being taken by physicians/hospitals who serviced them on Medicare.

Medicaid is driving the big financial problems, advocacy groups need to look at the solutions. HFS proposal is for cuts, removing things that have always been part of Medicaid.

An issue was brought up on the PAS manual that there is no mention of doing an OBRA 2 assessment. There was a new Pas Manual since the 2002. Members of the committee disagreed and stated there has not been a new revision. Ruth Ann stated she would send the information she had regarding this.

7. Autism Research Fund Update

The RFI is on the DHS website, Chris will send out the Link to members.

8. Proposal for Future Activities:

Most states have a process to develop a statewide plan for how services should look for people with Autism. Frequently they get placed in systems that don't fit them. We might want to structure together a planning committee dedicated to this work. We can get copies of plans in other states, it may be difficult to do it with our financial situation but it also may be the best time to do it. We can determine what kind of service system is needed in Illinois .Kevin will outline a proposal, but it is recommended that the best people to lead this process are parent and families.

9. Meeting Schedule

May 8, 2012

August 14, 2012

November 13, 2012