About the Series “Autism: Life After Diagnosis – A Road to Service”
ShineLight was created with the distinct purpose of providing a brighter life and future for individuals with autism. As you can imagine, life with services can dramatically improve the quality of life for individuals with autism, which is why early intervention is key. My name is Nikki Giovanni Creecy and I am the Founder and CEO of ShineLight. I have created a blog series entitled “Autism: Life After Diagnosis – A Road to Service” to help individuals with autism as they navigate life after diagnosis and to provide autism support in Fayetteville and throughout North Carolina.
If you have not yet read the introduction to “Autism: Life After Diagnosis – A Road to Service”, I encourage you to do so before proceeding.
This six-part series will cover the following topics:
- Part One: What treatment options are available to your loved one with autism?
- Part Two: How do you qualify for supplemental income? Here, we will discuss the process for being declared disabled in the state of North Carolina as well as applying for social security.
- Part Three: How to qualify and apply for Medicaid in North Carolina.
- Part Four: The difference between behavioral and medical health care and whether Medicaid will cover the services for your loved one.
- Part Five: What are Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) services?
- Part Six: What is an Innovations Waiver is, why it is necessary, and how to apply for these services. We will also explore the importance of applying ASAP after the diagnosis due to the high demand and long waitlist associated with services.
A Little Bit About Me | Nikki Giovanni Creecy
I am a local, born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, and I have more than two decades of experience in serving individuals with autism. In 2006, after eight years of working with the Autism Society of North Carolina, my vision and leadership led me to create ShineLight, Services and Support for People with Autism. As Founder and CEO of ShineLight, I am committed to hiring and employing cutting-edge methodologies and uniquely qualified staff to provide the very best residential, community, and employment support for individuals with autism. When I’m not involved in my work, I can be found singing in my church choir, teaching Sunday school, and making music as Nikki Giovanni Worship.
Part Four: Autism Support in Fayetteville – The Difference Between Behavioral and Medical Healthcare for Autism
A cure does not exist for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there are several treatment options available for autism including behavioral and medical healthcare. The goal of these treatments is to increase an individual’s ability to function while reducing symptoms of ASD.
What is Behavioral Healthcare for Autism?
Behavioral healthcare for autism addresses social, language, and behavioral difficulties due to autism. These programs focus specifically on a person’s behaviors and teach new skills that can be applied to multiple situations.
Types of Behavioral Autism Support in Fayetteville –
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been around for more than 50 years and is a very structured approach to teaching people with autism to communicate, play, practice self-care, and more. ABA therapy breaks down specific skills into easy-to-perform tasks so that people with ASD are eventually able to complete the full task without assistance.
Verbal Behavior Therapy
Verbal Behavior Therapy (VBT) teaches non-vocal children with autism how to effectively communicate. VBT encourages people to use their communication skills in order to produce their desired results.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often used for individuals who have milder forms of autism. In CBT, the person and the therapist work together to identify the triggers of particular behaviors so that eventually, they are able to recognize those moments themselves. In doing so, they are able to see when they are headed down a particular path and can course-correct without the aid of a therapist or parent.
Developmental and Individual Differences Relationship (DIR) Therapy
DIR Therapy is also called Floortime and involves engaging a child with autism in an activity that he or she likes. DIR works to motivate them to interact with others of their own volition.
What is Medical Healthcare for Autism?
Children with ASD may have other medical issues as a result of their autism. Some examples of medical issues that correlate with ASD include epilepsy, sleep disorders, limited food preferences, and stomach problems. To treat these issues, people with ASD should work together with their medical professionals on an individualized healthcare plan.
While there is no specific medication that can cure the symptoms of autism, there are several medications that can help to control some of the symptoms. For example, people with ASD may be prescribed antidepressants for anxiety. Other medications may be prescribed to help treat the symptoms of hyperactivity and severe behavioral problems. Before beginning a new medication, it is important to provide a comprehensive list of medications and supplements that your loved one is taking as to avoid any dangerous interactions.
Will Medicaid Pay for Autism Support in Fayetteville and Throughout North Carolina?
As long as the services are medically necessary, Medicaid will cover autism therapies for children under the age of 21. These treatments include both behavioral and medical interventions. To learn more about applying for Medicaid for autism, click here.
ShineLight Provides Autism Support in Fayetteville & Beyond
ShineLight was created with the distinct purpose of providing a brighter life and future for individuals with autism. ShineLight serves as a guiding light for individuals and their families by leading the way in residential, employment support services, and community advocacy. Our service areas include: Fayetteville, Wake, Sampson, Scotland, Duplin, Wayne, Lenoir, Greene, Wilson, Edgecombe, Durham, Johnston, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson, and Bladen Counties. Contact us today.