Autism Conference Preview

Milestones Helpdesk – Meet the Team

Among the hundreds of ways Milestones provides support to families and individuals with ASD, our free Helpdesk is perhaps the best way to start. Our knowledgeable team features over 63 years of combined experience in the fields of Early Childhood & Special Education, Mental Health Counseling, Behavioral Intervention, Social Work and Coaching.

Our Helpdesk team includes Milestones Program Director Beth Thompson, Social Worker Helena Farkas, Teen & Adult Coordinator Haley Dunn and Coaching & Referral Specialist Monica Chukayne.

“The Milestones team’s persistence in gathering data and communicating with the district is inspiring me not to give up on my children’s needs as their skills are improving after these long and painful processes,” says parent Grace Lin-Fadel. “It is worthy to keep going after seeing the benefits for our children. I am lucky to know and learn from Milestones. I thank them for sharing their experience.”

Get to know the hard-working individuals who can help you get connected to schools, camps, tutors, doctors, therapists, support groups and more.

Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW; Program Director

Whether students are college or career bound, Beth is instrumental in helping teens successfully transition to adulthood. She received her Master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University’s Morton, Jack and Joseph School of Social Sciences in Community Development and has extensive hands-on experience working with transition-aged students with autism. Beth’s favorite part of her job is when she can assist a young person in finding and developing their unique talents.

Helena Farkas, LISW-S; Social Worker

Before coming to Milestones, Helena worked extensively with the special needs population as a social worker at Metro Health Medical Center, where she helped families navigate the medical and community systems. At Milestones, Helena has coached families, individuals and professionals to access the multiple resources that promote education, health and independence. Her favorite quote: “If families are given enough time and information, they will make the right decision.”

Haley Dunn, MA, LPC; Teen & Adult Coordinator

Haley assists individuals crossing the bridge from school into the adult world.  She is also has experience providing mental health counseling services to all age groups. She has a deep passion for connecting people to their community to live out their fullest life. The best part of her work is when individuals are able to become an advocate for themselves in order to be as successful as possible in their education, work, community and independent living.

Monica Chukayne, Coaching & Referral Specialist

Monica is dedicated to ensuring the success of those with autism and special needs reach their full potential and helping them to achieve lifelong success from birth to adulthood. As an Educator and Intervention Specialist she has a wide range of experience working directly with individuals with mild to intensive needs. She could not imagine a more rewarding and impactful vocation. Her favorite quote: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” -Albert Einstein


Autism Insurance Reform – Navigating HB 463

Good news for families whose insurance has denied coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services in the past.

New state legislation, House Bill 463 (signed into law by Governor Kasich on January 4, 2017), will require coverage for medically necessary treatments of autism, including ABA for individuals under the age of 14 years.

To help you access insurance covered ABA in Ohio, you should know the following:

-HB 463 requires private insurance companies to cover ABA in Ohio starting April 8, 2017

-Autism insurance coverage took years of parental activism and two different legislative bills. The successful bill was spearheaded by Representative Cheryl Grossman of Grove City. The result is House Bill 463, new legislation that includes provisions that require private insurersto provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder. The section of the bill regarding autism coverage originated from House Bill 350, which Rep. Grossman sponsored.

Under the provisions, any health insurance plan is required to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment (including ABA services) of autism for individuals up to the age of 14. Coverage cannot be terminated as a result of such a diagnosis.

HB 463 allows a health plan issuer to review an autism spectrum disorder treatment plan on an annual basis. Allows a health plan issuer to review an autism spectrum disorder treatment plan more than once a year if the additional reviews are agreed to by the overseeing physician.

To access ABA services through insurance, parents need:

-A formal diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder

-A Script for ABA Therapy if the diagnosis is either over 1 year old or does not contain a recommendation for ABA Therapy

-Choose an ABA provider who will perform assessment/evaluation that will be used to create a treatment plan that indicates the number of hours of ABA therapy needed (the Treatment Plan must be updated every 6 months and submitted to for re-authorization of services)

If you have questions, contact your insurance company. Parents/guardians are still responsible for co-pays/charges not covered by insurance.  

Monthly Milestones | June 2016

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Monthly Milestones | May 2016

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Monthly Milestones | April 2016

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