Autism Services & Programs
Important Links:• Donate to ASAP
• Request more information
• Downloadable forms
• Resources for funding
In 2006, The League’s Camping & Therapeutic Recreation department expanded its services to serve participants of the Autism Waiver. The League’s ASAP program is the first Autism Program in the state of Maryland to be CARF Accredited. ASAP received accreditation in the areas of Autism Services for Children, Family Services, and Community Integration.
Our Autism Services programs are designed to focus on expanding the abilities and increasing the independence of our participants. With assistance from trained professionals, who understand that ‘behaviors’ are a form of communication, participants work to achieve their individual goals. Autism Waiver participants can join The League for the Therapeutic Integration program, Family Training, Intensive Individual Support Services, and In-Home Respite Care.
Intensive Individual Support Services
The Intensive Individual Support Services (IISS) program offers an opportunity for a one-on-one experience for individuals with Autism. IISS provides a certified trained staff member to come into the home and work on specific goals, based on the individual’s needs. The IISS program assures the family that the individual will be in capable hands while working together to achieve specific goals. During IISS, Support Counselors will provide a variety of activities involving behavior management, community integration, social skills, sensory integration, and daily life skills that incorporate achievement of their personal goals.
Our Support Counselors are supervised by Case Managers. All of our Case Managers are Masters’ level clinicians or certified special education teachers. The support services staff work with the family ensure that the individual’s goals are met. IISS are often done alongside Family Training.
Family Training provides resource coordination, advocacy support and in-home services to families who need a helping hand with a variety of issues that take place in the home. Case Managers assist with the areas of socialization and behavioral interventions, among others. Each family’s specific goals are based on the individual’s family needs. This program is designed for the whole family, and all family members are strongly encouraged to participate. Family Training is typically done alongside Intensive Individual Support Services.
The Therapeutic Integration (TI) program offers participants on the Autism Waiver a chance to explore recreation and to increase social skills. With the help of trained staff and experienced professionals, participants spend up to four hours after school working on their own individual goals at The League. The TI Program offers various activities such as arts & crafts, music therapy, swimming, cooking, and field trips. TI also concentrations on community integration, while taking field trips at least once a month. Transportation to the TI Program can be provided through the child’s school system, the parent or caregiver, or by The League if available.
TI services are provided Monday through Friday from 2:30 – 6:00pm. Parents and caregivers have the option to participate any day(s) as long as their child attends for at least two hours each day.
Respite services is a relief program designed to recognize the needs of the caregiver. This program provides a certified staff member to care for the individual while the family uses the time to run errands, do chores, or just relax. During Respite, Support Counselors provide activities and recreation that incorporate achievement of personal goals.
A second way to utilize Respite through the Autism Waiver, is by participating in Camp Greentop, located in Thurmont, MD. Camp Greentop offers a traditional summer camp for kids and adults with disabilities as well as a Winter Camping programming. Camp Greentop is accredited by the American Camp Association, and campers enjoy activities such as swimming, horseback riding, arts & crafts, sports, and other social activities.
All families and participants must meet with a Case Manager for an Individual Planning Meeting to develop an Individual Plan (IP) within the first 30 days of entering the program. An IP is a participant-based plan that assesses goals and needs while also evaluating the participant’s progress. Individual Planning meetings are required at least once every year after the first meeting to re-evaluate the participant’s goals. The participant and all caregivers/family members are encouraged to attend.
The Autism Waiver is a Medicaid funded program designed to provide support for individuals diagnosed with Autism. If you have not applied for the Autism Waiver, contact your child’s Service Coordinator or the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) by calling 1.866.417.3480 to get step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
The League’s Autism Services also works with families to help secure additional forms of funding, such as Low Intensity Support Services (LISS), to fund the cost of services for individuals not yet on the Autism Waiver.
Christine Branch, LCPC
Vice President, ASAP and Day Habilitation
Christine Branch graduated in 2006 from the University of Mary Washington with a BS in Psychology and Business Administration. During her undergraduate years, she volunteered at the Thurman Brisben Center , a homeless shelter, where she provided behavioral support to children. Branch also volunteered at The Kenmore Club, a community mental health center, where she assisted adult members in completing their daily maintenance or clerical duties.
Christine recently graduated in 2008 from Towson University with an MA in Clinical Psychology. She completed an internship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department researching Autism, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome in children. While earning her graduate degree, Branch worked part-time for The League as a Support Counselor and Therapeutic Integration Counselor in the Autism Services department. In June of 2008, Christine was hired as the Manager, Individual Support & Respite Services. In this position, she managed in-home services to our participants, and furthered her education by returning to school at Loyola University. In the fall of 2011, she earned credentialing as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. In January of 2012, Christine was promoted to Director, Autism Services, and then shortly thereafter to Vice President. In May of 2013, Christine was again promoted to Vice President of ASAP and Day Habilitation.
Program Manager, Therapeutic Integration
Ariel Adams graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors in 2011 from Springfield College School of Human Services in Wilmington, Delaware with a BS in Human Services. During her undergraduate years she interned at the Delaware YMCA, Back on Track Program, where she facilitated behavioral-based life skills groups for adjudicated youth. She also volunteered with the Baltimore County Public School System as an After-School Preparatory Facilitator for a program that provided mentoring services to students with IEP accommodations.
In September 2011, Ariel was hired as a Support Counselor and a Therapeutic Integration Instructor in the Autism Services department. While earning her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College School of Human Services in Wilmington, Delaware, Ariel was promoted to Activity Specialist for the Therapeutic Integration program in March 2012. Ariel will be completing her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling in July 2013. She currently interns with Hope Health Systems as a Mental Health Clinician providing individual and group psychotherapy to adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries and mental health diagnoses that attend the Adult Medical Day Program at The League. In October 2012, she was promoted to Program Manager for the Therapeutic Integration program.