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RESOURCES: LEGAL ISSUES

There are many items to consider regarding legal issues with regard to Autism Spectrum Disorders. THE CONTENT IS NOT INTENDED IN ANY WAY TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE.

Contact your state division of services for people with disabilities. Each state may provide a Disability Law Center, e.g. as Disability Law Center of Utah (DLC). The DLC has broad statutory powers to safeguard the human and civil rights of persons with disabilities. They provide self-advocacy assistance, legal services, disability rights education, and public policy advocacy on behalf of Utah residents with disabilities. Their services are available statewide and without regard for ability to pay. Other states: Disability Law Center of Massachusetts, Minnesota Disability Law Center, Disability Law Center of Alaska, Rhode Island Disability Law Center. Check with your state to locate your Disability Law Center.

Disability Rights Advocates is a non-profit legal center dedicated to securing the civil rights of people with disabilities. DRA advocates for disability rights through high-impact litigation, as well as research and education. They do not charge their clients for their services.

Law Enforcement - Dennis Debbaudt was first to address the interactions between law enforcement and people with autism in his 1994 report Avoiding Unfortunate Situations.
Autism and the Criminal Justice System
Police and Autism

autismriskmanagement.com
Autism In The Criminal Justice System Video

Wrightslaw- Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Center for Disability and Elder Law

Medicaid - The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) is one of six Centers within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMCS serves as the focal point for all national program policies and operations related to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes): It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

The Social Security Administration (SSA)

Guardianship - While each state has their own laws regarding guardianship, there are groups in each state that provide direct Guardianship, Conservator and Trust services to individuals who have been deemed by a court of law to be incapacitated, incompetent or legally disabled. One such organization is the Guardianship Associates of Utah. Check with your own state for similar organizations. Another program is the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services that gives an overview of guardianship for the state of Texas. Again, each state will have their own resources regarding guardianship. Another resource that may be helpful is MyAutismTeam.com, a social network for parents of children with autism.

Special Needs Trusts - There are many attorneys who specialize in special needs trusts. Contact your local disability law center for more information. Contact your State Bar Association for resources.

QUICK FACTS
Autism is defined behaviorally, as a syndrome of abnormalities involving language, social reciprocity and hyperfocus or reduced behavioral flexibility. It is clearly heterogeneous, and it can be accompanied by unusual talents as well as impairments, but its underlying biological and genetic basis is unknown. Autism has been modeled as a brain-based, strongly genetic disorder, but emerging findings and hypotheses support a broader model of the condition as genetically influenced and systemic.


According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills.
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