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CANDO

The Collaborative for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Options


​What is Colorado CANDO?

The Collaborative for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Options is an ad-hoc committee of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council. Colorado CANDO was created to support the Ten Year Strategic Plan for individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

What is the Ten Year Strategic Plan?

In 2008, the Colorado General Assembly created the Colorado Autism Commission (SB08-163) to obtain additional information on people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the State. The Colorado General Assembly charged the Commission with preparation of a Ten-Year Strategic Plan for the State of Colorado.

The resulting Ten Year Strategic Plan is an ambitious venture to expand the resources, services, and supports available to Colorado citizens with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and all neurodevelopmental disabilities.

 
 
 
 
​Project CASCADE (PI, John Miles) was instrumental to the 10 Year Strategic Plan.  Areas addressed by Project CASCADE were:
  1. To expand partnerships between professionals and families of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD).
  2. Provide ASD/DD training, webinars and print information to more parents and professionals to foster partnerships. Bridge gaps between the medical and educational systems.
  3. Improve access to a medical home. Integrate ASD/DD information into the Colorado Medical Home Initiative and community trainings for the medical home model.
  4. Increase access to adequate health insurance and financing Support implementation of Colorado law for private insurance coverage of ASD services. 
  5. Monitor implementation in a Consumer Registry, report findings, work to resolve emerging issues.
  6. Conduct outreach and provide information to families of children with ASD/DD and providers on evidence-based treatment options, implication of state and Federal laws for consumers.
  7. Increase early and continuous screening in the medical home Support timely use of developmental/ASD screening and assessment tools.
  8. Integrate into statewide electronic data systems screening data and data from primary, specialty/sub-specialty practices, train providers in screening and sharing results with families, support family understanding of screening results.
  9. Improve organization of community services for easy use by families.
  10. Develop and disseminate Care Coordination Plan and Toolkit; examine use.
  11. Improve transition to all aspects of adult health care, work, and independence. Create parent/youth awareness of transition issues and adult healthcare systems. 
  12. Assist providers to support transition, work with Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council ad hoc committee on transition in spheres of adult life.

 

​The Colorado Autism Commission and CANDO identified the scarcity of appropriate services for children, youth and adults with these co-occurring needs as one of the most critical service issues in Colorado.

Problems: Numerous national reports have examined the problems associated with inadequate and/or poor quality mental health services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Recommendations almost always center on the need for cross-system collaboration between mental health service providers, developmental disability service systems, and acute health care providers but problems persist. Excessive use of emergency services and psychiatric hospitals (when access to same is available) are only two of the unfortunate results of an uncoordinated system. The toll on individuals, their families and the community can be tragic.  

What is needed: A program that strengthens efficiencies and service outcomes for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities with co-occurring mental health conditions and/or behavioral health needs related to their disability.   Colorado advocates and service providers can attest to the need for a program designed to provide seamless linkages among the many elements of community mental health care to avert crises and assure access, appropriateness, and accountability. An effective system would optimize independence, treatment, and community living for individuals with I/DD and behavioral health needs. 

What we're doing to address the problems: The GAP Analysis survey was designed to help us identify the areas most in need of streamlining and improvement in service coordination for individuals with a dual diagnosis. In the Fall of 2013, eleven community meetings took place at Community Centered Boards across the state to gain insight to issues and successes in regional service coordination.

Next steps: The results from the surveys and community meetings were used to form recommendations that were presented in a report to the CDHS‐DDD to the General Assembly.  This document is critical to lay the groundwork for building a responsive system for coordinated services, crisis prevention, management, and stabilization for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Final Report: Analysis of Access to Mental Health Services for Individuals who have Dual Diagnosis of I/DD and Mental and/or Behavioral Health Disorders (11/2014)

Please see the GAP Analysis Project page for more information.

 
 
​Advocacy Resources 


Family/ Individual Advocacy

Colorado Cross Disability Coalition (CCDC)

A statewide organization that advocates Social Justice for people with all types of disabilities.

THRIVE Center

This organization informs and empowers low-income, culturally and linguistically diverse families as advocates for their children with disabilities, ages birth - 26 to achieve meaningful participation in their schools and communities.

Grupo Vida​

Es un grupo de padres hispanos formado para dar apoyo mutuo a los padres que tienen hijos con necesidades especiales.

The Arc has eleven local chapters each serving designated geographic areas. Local chapters provide individual advocacy services for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities who live in their service areas. They also provide information and referral services, public policy support, community education and more.
 
ASC seeks to improve the lives of all those affected by autism.  ASC accomplishes this through three program areas of community connections, education, and public policy.  ASC strives to advocate, inform and share the journey with all Coloradans.
 
Medical/ Insurance Advocacy
This organization works in state capitals, Congress and the courts for autism insurance reform that maximizes coverage for evidence-based treatments including behavioral health treatments.
 
This organization's focus is to Improves access to and quality of health care for children and youth with special health care needs. They work with families, health care and other service providers, and community professionals in the health care and disability fields.
 
Educational Advocacy
The Arc has eleven local chapters each serving designated geographic areas. Local chapters provide individual advocacy services for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities who live in their service areas. They also provide information and referral services, public policy support, community education and more.
 
Legal Advocacy
The Legal Center protects and promotes the rights of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado through direct legal representation, advocacy, education and legislative analysis.
 
This organization provides: research and independent legal and policy analysis; education and civic engagement with diverse communities; advocacy on behalf of lower-income Coloradans; and litigation and legal action for systemic change.
 
Colorado Revised Statutes are made available for public use by the Committee on Legal Services of the Colorado General Assembly through a contractual arrangement with the LexisNexis Group which prepares and maintains this website.

Assistive Technology Resources
Located at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, ATP envisions a world where all persons with cognitive, sensory, and/or physical disabilities are engaged in life at home, school, work  and play, without barriers and without boundaries.
 
An organization for users of Facilitated Communication and their friends in Colorado.
 
The leading provider of speech generating devices and symbol-adapted special education software used to assist individuals in overcoming their speech, language and learning challenges. These solutions are designed to help individuals who have complex communication and learning needs participate in the home, classroom and community.
 
Diagnostic Evaluations and Screening
The difference between a screening and diagnostic evaluation is that a screening can be conducted by your pediatrician, while the diagnostic evaluation needs to be administered by someone licensed to perform the ADOS test, like a psychologist.  These evaluations include the medical or behavioral diagnosis.  For education evaluations, please contact your local school district. 
 
This quick reference sheet is a guide for primary care providers to follow when referring and helping families access healthcare and special education/early intervention services.
 
Works with families, pediatric health care providers, community members and child care providers to help them identify as many children who may have potential developmental delays as early as possible. ABCD also focuses on ensuring that once children with potential delays are identified, they are successfully connected with the services and resources they need (and are entitled to) as soon as possible.
 
This guide is intended to inform (1) Families/consumers to understand values and qualities behind care coordination, as well as provide an educational and advocacy tool when accessing and managing care coordination services, (2) Care Coordinators and Providers may use this document as a foundation to maximize healthcare outcomes and use resources efficiently when coordinating care, and (3) Systems-level professionals may use this document to make decisions about how to coordinate care in a way that minimizes their financial risks and maximizes the care that families receive.
 
Mission is to improve the health of children through the provision of high-quality coordinated programs of patient care, education, research and advocacy.
 
Is committed to continuing to provide essential data on ASDs, search for risk factors and causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASDs as early as possible.
 
Helps families find out early about health care problems and get treatment for medical, dental, vision, mental helath and developmental problems.
 
Has collaborative relationships with numerous organizations that are a part of Colorado's developmental disability and special health care needs communities.
 
Provides resources and case management for individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
 
Employment Services
Please note that employment agencies may require a referral from your local DVR office.
 
DVR provides job search and development services for people with documented disabilities to help secure and maintain employment. Employment is the key issue addressed by vocational rehabilitation but DVR also refers client for independent living support. Educational needs related to employment are secondary. Youth in special education can be enrolled in vocational rehabilitation before they graduate from high school.
 
Clients must be referred by DVR or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). 
 
Requirements vary according to the program. Usually income based and requires student have a barrier to employment such as lack of basic skills, a documented disability or teen parent. Agencies contract with the Office of Economic Development to provide youth development services.
 
A program that assists individuals with disabilities in securing and maintaining meaningful paid employment.
 
This organization actively supports the inclusion of individuals with disabilities within our community.
 
They provides services to people with disabilities eligible for their services.  Goodwill services include Deaf Services, Work Activity Day Programs, Enclaves (group work program), Community Integrated Employment and Supported Living Services.
 
Some of these programs include employment. Check individual programs for requirements and services. 
 
This program provides employment services, training and post-secondary education support for people with mental illness.
 
They are a resource to find job openings, training opportunities, and information on over 900 occupations online. This is a free online tool designed to help people determine the right career for them.
 
Shalom Denver
They provide supported employment, community supported employment, and DVR assessments, job coaching and job search.
 
Housing Services
Colorado Division of Supportive Housing and Homeless Programs. Supportive Housing Programs (SHP) and Rental Assistance (formerly SHHP). The state operates several resources for low income families that can provide homeless prevention services. If you are faced with an eviction and need funds for paying rent, or if you are currently homeless, learn about programs offered by the Colorado Division of Supportive Housing and Homeless Programs.
 
Organization is focused on helping people and businesses succeed. We’ve seen the positive effects of homeownership and business expansion reverberate throughout communities.
 
The Hero Alliance- Home Ownership Education and Resource Opportunities
Is a non-profit organization that provides Home Ownership assistance and resources for persons with disabilities in Colorado
 
For a complete list of housing options in your community or to discuss which option is best for you, please contact your local Community Centered Board (CCB) or the Colorado Developmental Disability Council.
 
Insurance Services
Health Insurance (Public and Private): Examples of public insurance include Medicaid, Medicare, and several state run children's health plan like CHP+. Examples of private insurance include plans like Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare.  For a more extensive list of Colorado policies, please visit the Division of Insurance.
 
ASC works on issues of public and private insurance.  You can also call the information and referral team and speak with staff about issues and problems. 
 
Autism Speaks, a national organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
 
This division regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. For consumer tips, visit here.  To file a complaint, click here.
 
This organizations improves access to and quality of health care for children and youth with special health care needs. We work with families, health care and other service providers, and community professionals in the health care and disability fields.
 
HCPF administers the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus programs as well as a variety of other programs for Colorado's low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
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Listservs
This is a discussion list of the Autism Society of Colorado (ASC).  Anyone interested in autism in Colorado can join - Parents, Families and Individuals are all welcome. Providers/Clinicians are welcome to join in order to learn, listen and provide support. Sales and advertising by providers are prohibited.  ASC events and announcements are also updated on this list.
 
Colorado Respite Coalition advocates for a statewide respite system. We are a resource for Colorado families in need of respite options.
 
This email group is available for support anywhere in Colorado. We distribute information about the upcoming meetings, speakers, and issues we have as a local community. Please join us for laughing, crying and building better paths for our children to have a better vision for tomorrow.
 
GRASP stands for the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership and is a support group for adults with Aspergers Syndrome in Colorado.  People without Aspergers are welcome to join in order to learn more, but are not allowed to comment.

This list provides an opportunity to exchange information with other parents of sons/daughters with disabilities or special health care needs living in Colorado.

Services and Supports

Colorado Respite Coalition
This organization supports respite options, encourages respite provider networking, and facilitates the development of new, safe, affordable, interactive, and stimulating respite options.
 
The fund seeks to enhance the independence and quality of life for people who are elderly or disabled and their families. CFPD shall actively evaluate, monitor, oversee, coordinate and implement services in partnership with its clients and their families to ensure and maintain their rights, integrity and dignity.
 
Easter Seals partners with individuals and families to reduce the impact of disability or health challenges to enhance quality of life.
 
Applicants must meet eligibility criteria for one of the Medicaid Program categories in order to qualify for benefits.
 
This organization provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Transportation
Seeks to coordinate and bring together transportation providers and human services agencies to maximize efficiencies of scale, provide access to specialized transportation for each citizen who requires it and to improve the overall specialized transportation system.
 
Provides local bus transportation for people with disabilities. We help individuals who cannot access our fixed-route bus and light rail system to maintain their freedom to travel around the metro area.
 
 
 

 
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Shannon Secrest

My name is Shannon Secrest and I was born in Wyoming, but traveled the globe with my family at an early age.  Our travels took us to North Africa for 4 years and to South America for 2 years.  During our tenure abroad, we trekked extensively throughout 24 countries, being captivated by each unique people, culture, and language. I had 20+ years of Customer Service Management and Administration experience in the corporate world before becoming a parent and now a single parent of two amazing kids, ages 14 and 11.  It’s my son and his multiple diagnoses which brought me to the disability community.  I sit on numerous State committees, commissions and boards, however, I am an avid mentor, trainer, and advocate.  My current focus is Health Policy, specifically centering on Medicaid, State Waivers and Home Health Care issues.  My passion is systems advocacy surrounding health equity and social justice issues, and ensuring families have equal and appropriate access to services across all state systems. 



​Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg, PhD, RN
303-724-7680 

Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg, Ph.D., R.N., B.S. Nursing, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY, M.A. Special Education; Ph.D. Psychology, George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine. From 1993 through June of 2015  Dr. Robinson Rosenberg was  Director of JFK Partners, an interdepartmental program of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the CU School of Medicine. In this role she was responsible for providing leadership, direction to an interdisciplinary professional staff of over 40 faculty members. She has worked in the field of early intervention for children with developmental disabilities as a clinician, researcher and educator of personnel from multiple disciplines since 1973. She has been the PI on over 40 federally funded demonstration, training or research projects in the field of Developmental Disabilities and Intellectual Disabilities. Work since 2001 has been focused on Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is Co-Principal Investigator on the CDCP funded Colorado CADDRE and Surveillance projects. She is PI on the Colorado site of the SPARK study. She Co-chairs Colorado CANDO (Colorado Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Options) an ad-hoc committee pf the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council. CANDO meets quarterly offering educational opportunities in follow up to the Colorado Autism Commission.  She also serves as the evaluator for Colorado Inclusive Higher Education Pilot Program.