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 treatment near Durham 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 – Providing Autism Treatment Near Durham & Throughout North Carolina
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 Six: What is the North Carolina Innovations Waiver, Why is it Necessary, and How Do I Apply for These Services?
What is the North Carolina Innovations Waiver & Why is it Necessary?
The North Carolina Innovations Waiver is a federally approved Medicaid home and community-based services waiver. It was designed to meet the needs of individuals with intellectual or development disabilities, such as autism, who prefer to get long-term care services and supports in their home or community, rather than in an institutional setting.
The Medicaid Innovations Waiver supports individuals with autism by expanding the opportunities available to them in order to live the life of their choosing. Services are administered by a local management entity/managed care organization, which is known as an LME/MCO. You can click here to find your local LME/MCO in North Carolina. This LME/MCO will help facilitate services and oversee a network of community-based service providers. Individuals who receive Innovations Waiver funding work with their team to develop a Person-Centered Plan of Care and request the services and supports they need, such as autism treatment near Durham and beyond.
How to Qualify for the North Carolina Innovations Waiver for Autism Treatment Near Durham & Beyond
To qualify for the North Carolina Innovations Waiver you must:
- Meet the requirements for living at an Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID) level of care – your LME/MCO can assist you in determining your eligibility
- Live in an Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID) or be at risk of being placed in an ICF-IID
- Be able to stay safe, healthy, and well in the community while using NC Innovations Waiver services
- Need and use NC Innovations Waiver services listed in your Person-Centered Plan of Care at least once a month
- Want to use NC Innovations Waiver services instead of living in an ICF-IID
How to Apply for North Carolina’s Innovations Waiver
If you are eligible, your LME-MCO can help you get services. It is important to note that there are only a certain number of NC Innovations Waiver slots available and the waitlist is very long for the North Carolina Innovations Waiver. Because of this, it is imperative that a newly diagnosed person with autism apply for the Innovations Waiver as soon as possible. If all of the slots are full, your name will be added to the Registry of Unmet Needs. The Registry of Unmet Needs is a waitlist for the NC Innovations Wavier who are waiting for slots to open up.
ShineLight Provides Autism Treatment Near Durham & 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.