OCASD News & Updates

  • OCASD Publishes Guidance of ASD Evaluations During COVID-19

    Posted by OCASD Admin on 5/27/2020

    The OCASD has just issued a position paper on evaluations for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while social distancing practices due to COVID-19 remain in effect. The Commission is committed to both timeliness and accuracy of ASD evaluations, whether they occur within the health care or the educational setting.  No one who is concerned with helping individuals with ASD wishes to delay prompt access to needed services.

    The most reliable, standardized tools for identifying ASD were not, however, designed to be administered remotely.  Nor is there yet a well-thought out and reliable remote substitute for in person, face to face observation of individuals being evaluated for ASD. For these reasons, the Commission is issuing initial guidance recommending against exclusive reliance on remote technology to assign a diagnosis or special education eligibility of ASD.

    Members of OCASD and its Screening, Identification, and Assessment (SIA) Work Group are engaged in national conversations among evaluation experts on the best strategies to balance timeliness, accuracy, and safety for both evaluators and those being evaluated. 

    We expect to update this guidance in a few months and periodically thereafter in order to share evolving best practices with all of our Oregon stakeholders.

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  • Setting up Home Instruction for Students with ASD: A How-to Guide for Parents

    Posted by OCASD Admin on 4/1/2020

    students doing school work at home banner

    The ASD services team at Columbia Regional Program has produced a new resource for parents and caregivers to support children with instruction at home while schools are closed. 

    Setting up Home Instruction for Students with ASD: A How-to Guide for Parents

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  • COVID-19 Resources to Support Individuals with ASD

    Posted by OCASD Admin on 3/23/2020
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  • OCASD is Hiring!

    Posted by OCASD Admin on 2/4/2020

    Position Opening

    Assistant to the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders 

    Description of services to be provided:  The Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders (OCASD) is in need of support for a variety of activities.  This work will facilitate the smooth running of commission meetings, projects, and communications with the Commission and other outside entities.  Other duties related to forwarding the mission and activities of the OCASD may be requested, such as supporting the approval process for newly appointed Commissioners, purchasing, organizing and the contracting process.  This list is not comprehensive. 

    The contract period is from as soon as possible (March, 2020) to the end of the current fiscal year (June 30, 2020) and is annually renewable if agreeable to both parties.  

    Tasks Include:

    1. Following Oregon Public Meeting Rules;
    2. Announcement of Commission meetings to the public in a manner approved by the Commission;
    3. Scheduling meeting room space;
    4. Preparation of the agenda and minutes for each Commission meeting;
    5. Posting of approved minutes so that they are available through the OCASD website;
    6. Updating the Commission website as needed;
    7. Communicating with Commissioners on behalf of the Commission Chairman;
    8. Arranging and organizing activities for the Commission with the guidance of the Chair and/or Co-Chairs;
    9. Ordering refreshments and/or lunch at meetings;
    10. Preparation of reports as described in the employment contract or in the Executive Order of the Governor;
    11. Maintenance of subscriptions that enhance the work of the Commission (BoardBook, Blackboard, Zoom, etc.); and
    12. Any other duties assigned. 

    Payment for services will be invoiced on a monthly basis by the assistant at a rate of $30/hour for up to 30 hours per month as described in the employee contract.  This rate and total hours will be reviewed at the end of the current biennium. 

    The Commission Chair and contract administrator will approval all deliverables and invoices for payment. 

    If interested in this open position, please submit a resume including at least three references no later than March 01, 2020 to the current Chairman of the Commission, Joyce Bernheim at joycebernheim@gmail.com.

     

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  • Wrap around services are now available for individuals experiencing ASD

    Posted by OCASD Admin on 1/31/2020

    From the Oregon Health Authority - OCASD Welcomes this good news!

    February 3, 2020

    To: Wraparound programs Behavioral Health Directors

    From: Chelsea Holcomb, LCSW, Manager Child and Family Behavioral Health Unit

    Subject: Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis now eligible for Wraparound

    Starting January 1, 2020, youth with a primary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are eligible for Wraparound under procedure codes H2021 (per 15 minutes) and H2022 (per diem).

    Why is this happening?
    The Health Evidence Review Commission placed Autism Spectrum Disorder above the funding line before Oregon’s 2014 Wraparound implementation; therefore, this pairing was missed. In response to your inquiries, OHA researched this issue, and HERC paired Wraparound and ASD on Line 193 of the January 1, 2020 List.

    What should you do?
    Please share this news with your Wraparound Review Committees, system partners, community partners and Oregon Health Plan families in Wraparound.

    Questions?
    If you have any questions about this announcement, contact Nat Jacobs at natalie.jacobs@dhsoha.state.or.us. Thank you for your continued support of Oregon’s behavioral health system and the services you provide.

    Read the full memo here.

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  • Joyce Bernheim Appointed OCASD Chair

    Posted by OCASD Staff on 11/28/2019

    Joyce Bernheim was appointed by the Governor to serve as the new chairperson of the OCASD. The Commission extends our gratitude to outgoing chairperson Nancy Lawson for her able stewardship as well as the considerable expertise and countless hours Nancy poured into supporting the work of the OCASD.

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  • OCASD Hosts Forums to Promote Collaboration

    Posted by OCASD Staff on 10/2/2019

    On October 2, 2019 the OCASD hosted a parent forum focused on the topic of strengthening collaboration between school-based professionals and private board certified behavior analysis (BCBAs) delivering applied behavior analysis (ABA) services. Special thanks to Tobi Rates with the Autism Society of Oregon for facilitating and our panel of parents.

    On April 11, 2019 the OCASD hosted a forum on the same topic bringing BCBAs together with school-based professionals including classroom teachers, SLPs, autism specialists, administrators and others. OCASD commisioners Brad Hendershott and Corey Stump co-facilitated the event. Click here to view the April 11th slides.

    The OCASD will continue efforts to strengthen collaboration among professionals providing services to children and youth with ASD.

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  • State Board of Education Approves Revisions to ASD Eligibility Criteria

    Posted by OCASD Staff on 6/21/2018

    On June 21st, the State Board of Education approved revisions to the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) regarding the criteria school districts and early childhood programs utilize to determine eligibility for special education under the category of autism spectrum disorder (ASD); 581-015-2000 (definitions) and 581-015-2130 (eligibility criteria and evaluation components). These changes reflect the first overhaul in the eligibility criteria and required evaluation components in over 25 years.ESOUThe new rules go into effect on January 1, 2019 providing school districts with time to familiarize staff with the new criteria, required evaluation components, and eligibility forms. The delay also provides Oregon’s Regional Programs with time to develop training and technical assistance materials to assist school-based professionals with implementation.

    A central feature of the revisions is alignment with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-5) criteria for diagnosing ASD. While a medical diagnosis of ASD remains distinctly separate from an educational eligibility, adoption of the DSM-5 criteria brings medical and educational definitions into closer alignment. As a result, parents and caregivers are less likely to be confused by two widely different ways in which ASD is defined. Oregon has joined only a handful of states nationwide who have taken this important step forward since the DSM-5 was released in May of 2013.

    The rule revisions represent the culmination of nearly ten years of study, effort, and advocacy. The Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders (OCASD) produced a 2010 Report to the Governor that called for better alignment of medical and educational ASD identification criteria. Members of the Screening, Identification, and Assessment (SIA) subcommittee of the OCASD worked tirelessly to further the recommendations of the 2010 report, pouring countless hours of effort into developing proposed changes in the criteria. Their work was then presented to Oregon Department of Education where the final proposed revisions were crafted following extensive input from a wide range of stakeholders, including parents.

    The OCASD supported the rule revisions and we anticipate the changes will improve the quality and accuracy of ASD evaluations and eligibility determinations. We also hope the changes ease the reciprocal use of evaluation information across medical and educational systems thus reducing barriers to services.

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