Adolescent Health Care Act Provides Options for Families Seeking Mental Health and Substance Use Help for Young People Resistant to Treatment

A Brief Overview The Adolescent Behavioral Health Care Access Act, passed into law by the Washington Legislature in 2019, gives parents and providers more leverage in treating a young person who will not or cannot independently seek medical help for a behavioral health condition. The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) hosts website links with information about Read More

Supported Decision Making is an Option for Adults with Disabilities

A Brief Overview In Washington State, Supported Decision Making (SDM) is a legal option for supporting a person with a disability after their 18th birthday. The format for an SDM agreement is up to the individual and their supporters. A sample form is available for download from WashingtonLawHelp.org. The final section of this article provides Read More

Families Who Receive In-Home Care Services: Take Note of 2022 Changes

A Brief Overview Everyone who gets state-funded in-home care in Washington is affected by a new employment structure for Individual Providers (IPs). The Consumer Direct Care Network of Washington (CDWA) is the new Consumer Directed Employer (CDE) for all individual providers of state purchased in-home care. The CDWA website offers support in multiple ways by Read More

Bullying at School: Resources and the Rights of Students with Special Needs

A Brief Overview OCR provides a fact sheet for parents about school legal obligations to address bullying. The fact sheet is available in Spanish. According to OCR, students who are victims of bullying shall not be further victimized by the school’s response: “Any remedy should not burden the student who has been bullied.” Families can ask the school Read More

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Information and Resources for Families

A Brief Overview A short YouTube video by Osmosis.org provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A medical diagnosis of autism is not required for school-based evaluations or interventions. Read on for more information. Families concerned about a child’s development can call the state’s Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588. This toll-free number offers help in English, Read More

Students: Get Ready to Participate in Your IEP Meeting with a Handout for the Team

Students of all abilities have the right to a solid education to get ready for adult life. Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) have a right to participate in IEP meetings to make sure the program is a good set-up for higher education, vocational training, work—whatever comes next after graduation. Schools are required to invite Read More

I want the kind with the people and the pictures

By John O’Brien After a Difficult Start… Institutionalized from age three to twenty-three in a place where “they treated us like animals”– Mike has composed a good life, taking many valued roles: husband, father, worker, home owner, friend, organizer, advocate, mentor, teacher, neighbor.[1] Anticipating the changes that come with aging, Mike requested funding for a person-centered Read More

A Mother Shares her Personal Journey of Welcoming a Baby with Down Syndrome

By Elizabeth Paschich The news that my son had Down syndrome came at a bad time.  I was pregnant with our 6th child, and my husband and I were not on the same page about my pregnancy. Age 37, I qualified for extensive genetic testing that could identify the gender of my child at 11 Read More