The Virginia General Assembly and Autism 2012

The Virginia General Assembly began its 2012 session in early January and meets for 60 days this year. We have highlighted legislation impacting the autism community.

We urge you to contact your senator and delegate to let them know how this legislation impacts your family. To find out who your delegate or senator is, go here: http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

Autism Insurance This is legislation to promulgate emergency licensure regulations for BCBAs to provide ABA. This is a technical fix to the 2011 legislation man- dating insurance companies to cover the treatment of autism for children 2 through 6 years of age. As this newsletter went to press, House Bill 1106 had passed but had not yet been addressed in the Senate.

ID and DD Waiver Slots More than 7,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are on waiting lists for community-based services. There are no new waivers for individuals/families on the ID/DD Waiver waiting lists in the Governor’s introduced budget which means no help for individuals/families through July 1, 2014.

Proposed budget amendments in the House and Senate would add new ID Waivers and new DD Waivers to the state budget to help the individuals and families who are on waiting lists for community-based services.

Teacher Licensure/ Paraprofessional Training House Bill 325 requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement in special edu- cation and working with students with autism spectrum disorders must demonstrate proficiency in student behav- ior management and requires school divisions to provide 40 hours of training in student behavior management to any aide assigned to work with a teacher with primary responsibility for students with autism spectrum disor- ders and 12 hours of training for other personnel with other oversight responsibility for students with autism spectrum disorders.