Community-Base Socialization Funding for Kids with Autism Cut 100% due to Interpretation of CA Budget “Trailer Bill”
Court Hearing on Friday Jan. 7th – Supporters are asked to attend.
According to the CDC, in the U.S. autism currently affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys and the need for proven practices in treatment is growing faster than ever. Community Coaching Center is a unique program that takes evidence-based practices out to the community where program participants with autism are given opportunities to practice appropriate social behaviors and skills in real-life settings with the assistance of highly trained Community Coaches.
Autism is characterized by unusual or limited social skills, communication and behavior, which often makes navigating community environments challenging. As a part of the CCC’s community inclusion program, CCC uses a number of evidence-based practices to help kids and teens diagnosed with autism to cope with these challenges and become included members of the community. “We need to think beyond academics and provide kids and teens with the social behavior skills that they need to succeed in the community and life”, said Tina Waters, Founder and Executive Director of CCC.
Amanda Fisher testifies to the benefits her son has received at CCC, “Nothing, in all of his previous therapies has been as effective as CCC in addressing the core social and behavioral issues of autism. Most importantly he gets the help he needs to learn to control his behaviors so he can function in the community, at school and in the home.”
While the need for this type of program is undeniable, the survival of CCC has been threatened by funding cuts from the so called California budget “trailer bill” eliminated funding for social recreation programs. The Community Coaching Center has filed two legal writs against the San Diego Regional Center and the Department of Developmental Disability Services as their interpretation of the “trailer bill”, which passed in July 2009, has cut 100% of funding of the primary “socialization training” vendor code. The survival of the Community Coaching Center depends on continued funding of social behavior training as it was 83% of the total net income for the program.
The Community Coaching Center is the only program in San Diego providing a community-based, social behavior development and inclusion program for school-aged kids and teens diagnosed with autism.
This Friday, January 7th at 1:30pm we have our final hearing and invite you to join us! (presence of 40+ supporters must, by law, be documented) Directions to Central Court House
A brief summary of our two filed writs:
#1. The judge will be deciding what the legal definition of “social recreation” in the trailer bill is. We are asking the judge to make a legal ruling that would stop the continued use of the trailer bill by Regional Center as a means to cut funding to social skill programs for children with autism. We contend that the interpretation taken by Regional Center is contrary to the Lanterman Act (the state law that governs the delivery of services to individuals with disabilities). The argument is that by the word “recreation”, the legislature meant activities for “refreshment” and “fun” per the definition of the word, such as swimming and horseback riding that were previously funded and that they did not intend that social skills programs, essential to enable children with autism to have access to the community and facilitate the learning of vital daily living skills, would be cut.
#2. The Community Coaching Center should be granted an appropriate community-based vendor code which addresses the community access component to our goal oriented, data driven program (community-based codes were not cut by the trailer bill).
The survival of our program depends on continued funding of social skills training as it renders 37% of our nonprofit’s net income and approximately $340, 000.
Community Coaching Center is the only program in San Diego providing a community-based, social behavior development and inclusion program for school-aged kids and teens diagnosed with autism.
If you can help us in any way (news/media coverage, attending the hearing, etc.) please contact me. I am working on a press release and would greatly appreciate any feedback or assistance in distributing it to any media contacts you may have.
Please join us on Friday January 7th at 1:30pm if you are available.
About the Community Coaching Center: CCC is a 501c3 nonprofit community-based, social behavior development and inclusion program for school-aged individuals with autism that facilitates daily learning experiences that give participants the opportunity to practice and apply vital life skills in real-life settings and become included in the community. For more information about CCC, visit www.CommunityCoachingCenter.org or call 858.603.9835.