Regional Center Rescinds Eligibility Termination for a Child with ASD
Alfonso is an 8-year-old with average cognitive ability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since age two, he has received behavioral intervention as a regional center client. Because of these intensive interventions, he has been successful academically in his elementary school classroom, with 504 accommodations instead of an IEP. However, he still needs substantial social and behavioral assistance outside of the classroom. Due to his academic success, the regional center reassessed his eligibility and determined that he had been misdiagnosed and no longer qualified for regional center services. OCRA met with the regional center and provided technical assistance to Alfonso’s father concerning DSM-5 eligibility criteria for ASD, case strategy and options, evidence development, and standards of proof under the Lanterman Act for the administrative hearing. Ultimately, a few days before the hearing, the regional center agreed to rescind the eligibility termination. The regional center agreed that although Alfonso was doing well in the very supportive elementary school environment, it was premature to discontinue services without waiting to see how he would meet the more demanding academic and social challenges of adolescence. Alfonso’s regional center eligibility will continue at least five more years before another reassessment.