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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 781         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 909

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Jennifer L. Flanagan

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to ensure full and equal access to services from the Department of Mental Health for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related conditions who otherwise meet the eligiblity criteria for DMH services.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Jennifer L. Flanagan

Worcester and Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

Michael J. Rodrigues

First Bristol and Plymouth

Richard J. Ross

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex

John F. Keenan

Norfolk and Plymouth

Michael Barrett

Third Middlesex

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex

Stephen L. DiNatale

3rd Worcester

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Michael R. Knapik

Second Hampden and Hampshire

John D. Keenan

7th Essex

Kenneth J. Donnelly

Fourth Middlesex

Karen E. Spilka

Second Middlesex and Norfolk

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

James E. Timilty

Bristol and Norfolk

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Bruce J. Ayers

1st Norfolk

Anthony W. Petruccelli

First Suffolk and Middlesex

Eileen M. Donoghue

First Middlesex

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Kathleen O'Connor Ives

First Essex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 781        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 909

By Ms. Flanagan, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 909) of Jennifer L. Flanagan, William N. Brownsberger, Michael J. Rodrigues, Richard J. Ross and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.  Mental Health and Substance Abuse. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act to ensure full and equal access to services from the Department of Mental Health for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related conditions who otherwise meet the eligiblity criteria for DMH services.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1:

              Section 1 of Chapter 123 as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following definitions:

              Autism Spectrum Disorder

              An individual must meet criteria A, B, C and D:

              A.    Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, and manifest by all 3 of the following:

              1.              Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity; ranging from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back and forth conversation through reduced sharing of interests, emotions, and affect and response to total lack of initiation of social interaction.

              2.              Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction; ranging from poorly integrated- verbal and nonverbal communication, through abnormalities in eye contact and body-language, or deficits in understanding and use of nonverbal communication, to total lack of facial expression or gestures.

              3.              Deficits in developing and maintaining relationships, appropriate to developmental level (beyond those with caregivers); ranging from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit different social contexts through difficulties in sharing imaginative play and  in making friends  to an apparent absence of interest in people

              B.    Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities as manifested by at least two of  the following:

              1.              Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements, or use of objects; (such as simple motor stereotypies, echolalia, repetitive use of objects, or idiosyncratic phrases).

              2.              Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior, or excessive resistance to change; (such as motoric rituals, insistence on same route or food, repetitive questioning or extreme distress at small changes).

              3.              Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus; (such as strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).

              4.              Hyper-or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of environment; (such as apparent indifference to pain/heat/cold, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, fascination with lights or spinning objects).

              C.    Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)

              D.    Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning

              Conditions related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

              These shall include but not be limited to Social Communication Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

              SECTION 1A:

              Chapter 123 is hereby amended by inserting the following Section:

              The Department of Mental Health will provide emergency, crisis, acute care, and ongoing treatment and support for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions, who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for DMH services.

              These services will be designed to meet the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions. They will be provided by clinicians who have training and expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorders and related conditions.

              For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder or a related condition who have co-occuring mental health issues, DMH will work closely with the Department of Developmental Services to determine the responsible agency for delivery of service.

              SECTION 2:

              Section 21 of Chapter 19 as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition is hereby amended by striking “mentally ill and persons with an intellectual disability” on line 10 and inserting in place thereof the words-

              persons with mental illness and intellectual or developmental disabilities

              Section 21 of Chapter 19 as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition is hereby amended by striking “mentally ill and mentally retarded individuals” on line 15 and inserting in place thereof the words-

              persons with mental illness and intellectual or developmental disabilities

              Section 21 of Chapter 19 as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition is hereby amended by striking “a person with an intellectual disability and mentally ill” on line 16 and inserting in place thereof the words-


              a person with an intellectual or developmental disability and a mental illness

              Section 21 of Chapter 19 as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting, on line 30 following “intellectual disability”, the words-

              or a developmental disability,

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