Texas Partnership Supports Adults with Autism and Other IDDs

Autism services like the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services Beacon provides are generally administered to children and adolescents, but what happens when those children become adults?

While services for children often focus on early intervention and behavior management, services for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to be geared toward providing opportunities and support for housing, vocational training, independence, and continued behavioral health therapy. For some adults with autism, these services are offered in full-time living centers.

Beacon provides behavioral health support services for people with ASD and other intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) through a partnership with AxisPoint Health in Texas, a project that is unlike other projects Beacon has undertaken to date. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and a BCBA-D clinical manager are co-located with staff and residents at five State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs) operated by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Beacon’s role in these locations is to advise and support SSLC staff in improving the quality of life for residents with complex medical, psychiatric, and behavioral needs.

Since the partnership took effect, Beacon has helped SSLC staff develop the required state documents for individual annual treatment plan reviews, including positive behavior support plans and behavioral health assessments. These documents and recommendations inform an individual resident’s treatment plan.

To ensure quality care, both Beacon and SSLC staff complete necessary training on behavioral health plans and conduct monthly reviews to assess implementation and make necessary adjustments to each plan. AxisPoint Health and Beacon meet with the Texas HHSC every week to review progress, evaluate effectiveness, and implement plan adjustments. Beacon’s BCBA-D clinical manager visits each location quarterly to provide supervision and guidance on interventions for challenging cases.

Beacon’s support of SSLC staff and residents in Texas doesn’t stop at treatment plan management. In August 2017, Beacon staff were on-site to assist when resident relocation became necessary due to Hurricane Harvey. Beacon’s BCBAs have also collaborated with SSLC staff to modify the way treatment teams approach individual residents to minimize aggression and ensure the safety of both residents and staff.