SECTION 1. The secretary of health and human services and the secretary of education shall collaborate with parents of children with autism, advocates, educators, service providers and others with expertise in meeting the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder to study and develop recommendations for supporting and increasing the number of qualified providers of intensive intervention services including but not limited to Applied Behavior Analysis, Floor Time and Relationship Development Intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. The secretary of health and human services and the secretary of education shall submit a joint report to the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities, the joint committee of health care finance, the joint committee on higher education and the joint committee on education, describing said recommendations no later than January 1, 2010. The report shall consider a full range of options for supporting and increasing the number of qualified providers available to provide intensive intervention services for children on the autism spectrum, including but not limited to: collaboration with Massachusetts’ universities, colleges and community colleges; loan forgiveness programs; scholarships to post-secondary students who work as providers and pursue a related field of study; and outreach efforts to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder to recruit parents interested in working as providers of services and strategies to increase the number of providers qualified to serve children with autism spectrum disorder who are from linguistically and culturally diverse families and communities.
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