CA Regional Center fails sniff test

CA Regional Center fails the sniff test.

SARC fails sniff test

CA Regional Center fails sniff test

Consent  is a big deal. Written consent starts many important things such as:  Will you marry me?

 Will you have my child?  Will you co-sign on a loan?

 I  consent that my child  receive special education services.  Yes consent  is a big deal.   For many reasons.

 

However, when it comes to consent, San Andreas Regional Center fails the sniff test. And this is probably true for other  Regional Centers of which there are 21 in California.

 Exactly how San Andreas Regional Center  fails the sniff test is described below. First, some comments  why consent is so important. Think about consent in general and why  written consent  is important:

Most people understand that consent matters and is a big deal. For example,  everybody goes to the doctor.  Everybody who goes to the doctor has to sign a consent for release of confidential information.  Everybody knows that without  written consent  records cannot be sent electronically.  Thus most people have  some understanding that signed consents matter and are a big deal.

Another example:   Many children get Early Start services.  Early Start services are provided by California regional centers such as San Andreas Regional Center.  Parents  must sign written consent before assessment will start.  No consent signed?  Then no assessment and no services.

Many children who receive  Early Start services improve considerably. Some children, however, make little or very slow progress in their social skills and how well they manage change.

 Some of these slow developing children show  substantial symptoms suggestive of autism.  Early Start is required by law to contact the local public school and set up what is called a “transition” meeting.

Some children with autistic symptoms  may be eligible for ongoing regional center services under the California   Lanterman Act

Given the above,  might think  that before any assessment occurs for Lanterman eligibility for  ongoing services  that someone legally responsible must  give written  consent.  That would logically follow.  But, no.

 Guess what!   No written consent is  obtained by SARC  when children transition  out of Early Start and may be eligible  for  ongoing services.

This is when  CA Regional Center  fails  the sniff test.

 San Andreas Regional Center SARC  does not get written consent  prior to assessing  Early Start children who might be eligible for ongoing services.

 This CA Regional Center  only gets written consent one time  — prior to assessment   Early Start services.

So what?   Does it matter that San Andreas Regional Center  does not get  written consent from  Early Start  children  who might transition to ongoing services at age three?

Yes! No written consent translates into no current medical or school information will be obtained and thus  not  available forreview by  the psychologist  who assesses that child.

And,  as a result a less than minimum report may  be produced  by CA Regional Centers  based on limited  or out of date records.  Does this pass your sniff test?  Nope.

This kind of behavior — where CA Regional Centers  may meet the minimum requirements of the law but fails to implement best practice guide lines for the assessment of autism  –should stop.

 It is time that  all CA regional centers  meet the guidelines recommended by the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for the assessment of autism in young children.  San Andreas Regional Cener  knows what those guidelines are.   It’s time that  this CA Regional Center  met those guidelines willingly.

It all starts with consent.  Yes, consent is a big deal.  And consent leads to obtaining and sharing current information about young children   some of whom have substantial autistic symptoms.  And some of  these children  can and should be eligible under autism  for ongoing  regional center services  at the age of three.

Should the public   and parents require regional centers to get consent prior to assessing for autism?  Yes.   Consent if a big deal for many reasons.  And then act on that consent.   Get up to date, current medical and school records after getting consent.  Yes, consent is big deal and matters.

What you can do:  email your California representatives and say it’s high time that Regional Centers meet best practice guidelines for assessment of autism.  Contact your local public schools and ask them to pressure the Regional Centers to get parent consent and use up to date standardized tests when testing children for autism and other developmental disabilities. And contact the California Department of Developmental Services to put pressure on specific regional centers such as San Andreas so that they will more fully meet best practice guidelines.

Did you know that the former boss of San Andreas Regional Center is now the top boss of the agency (DDS) that writes the best practice guidelines?   He is Santi Rodgers and his email address is available on the DDS site.  Let Mr. Rodgers know that you want best practices used when children are assessed for autism.

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