PuzzleHeadImageThe Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and language services and that speech-language pathologists and other professionals in some cases may not be properly included in the evaluation, eligibility and individualized education program development processes for students with autism. OSEP also notes that some programming for students with autism may be using only applied behavior analysis (“ABA”) without considering input from these other professionals that provide other types of services. In the letter, OSEP further “recognize[s] that ABA therapy is just one methodology used to address the needs of children with [autism spectrum disorder] and remind[s] States and local programs to ensure that decisions regarding services are made based on the unique needs of each individual child with a disability.” OSEP also provides several guidance resources regarding Medicaid coverage for children with autism. The full July 6, 2015 Dear Colleague Letter can be accessed here.