Delaware Autism Feasibility Study
HSRI conducted a feasibility study for the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) to determine how the state could enhance its capacity to serve people with diagnoses on the autism spectrum. Data sources for this study included a review of services provided and models used by other states, interviews with people interested in the autism spectrum in Delaware (providers, state staff, advocates and families), and a review of documents from Delaware and other states that described the state of the state in terms of serving people on the spectrum. The review of state service models revealed characteristics of a system that seem to be connected with good quality. Interviews with Delaware stakeholders in many ways mirrored these findings. HSRI used this information to suggest that Delaware adopt a model that we describe as The Delaware Resource Center. This Center would be staffed with autism specialists who would assist the state in revising definitions and eligibility practices, develop and provide training across stakeholders, develop and utilize data collection tools to help Delaware make future decisions, and create materials for families to use that were easy to understand and accurate. Recommendations also included suggested funding strategies as well as phased staffing priorities.