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RELEASE: Meeting to address services for children with autism

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ST. PAUL – Reps. Matt Bliss, R-Pennington, and Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, urge area citizens to attend a meeting this Monday in Bemidji to discuss services for children with autism and related conditions.

The meeting is one of three around the state hosted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) on this subject. It will focus on services available through Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare for children, youth and young adults under age 21 with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

“It’s important to raise awareness for families to help children at a crucial point in their lives,” Grossell said. “These meetings are great tools to help families with questions and I hope anyone with questions or who could benefit from the information is able to attend.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive information about the Early Intensive Developmental and Behavioral Intervention (EIDBI) benefit and services. Information also will be provided regarding supports for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions in general. The DHS will welcome input pertaining to challenges and successes related to accessing services.

“I hope people take advantage of this chance to provide DHS with feedback that ultimately could help improve services,” Bliss said. “We are fortunate to have this meeting taking place in Bemidji so that citizens are able to communicate directly with DHS to share their thoughts on what is working, what is not working, and offer ideas for how things might be done better.”

The DHS indicates the goal of EIDBI services is to promote fuller participation by children in their family, schools and community life. Services are based on the family’s values and culture and include training and support for the family.

The meeting will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Northwest Indian Community Development Center, 1819 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji. Requests for particular accommodations or language assistance in order to participate may email as soon as possible and list the type of accommodation needed.