Center for Autism and Related Disorders to Implement Skills®: The Online Autism Solution with Magellan Health Services

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Skills® gives Magellan’s network of behavioral health providers an easier and more effective way to treat individuals who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

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Using the Skills platform will allow us to substantially increase our offering of scientifically-based tools to help understand the treatment needs, progress, and outcomes in this extremely complex condition.

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), Inc., and Magellan Health Services (MGLN) today announced the implementation of Skills®: The Online Autism Solution (http://www.skillsforautism.com) across Magellan’s network of behavioral health providers who work with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The Skills® curriculum will enable providers to assess a child’s strengths and weaknesses, design individualized and comprehensive treatment plans, and track treatment progress. Skills® is based on the scientifically-proven principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). It was created by researchers and top-level clinicians at CARD, the world’s largest provider of comprehensive, early intensive behavioral intervention for individuals with ASD.

“Using the Skills platform will allow us to substantially increase our offering of scientifically-based tools to help understand the treatment needs, progress, and outcomes in this extremely complex condition,” says Dr. Sunil Sachdev, SVP of Medical Operations and Strategy, Behavioral Health at Magellan Health Services. “We believe this will also further our ability to engage with providers of ABA services to provide affordable and cost-effective care producing the best outcomes. We very much value the relationship that CARD has developed with us over time and believe we have the same focus on clinical excellence and superior patient care.”

“We are honored that Magellan Health Services recognizes Skills® as a tool to increase the quality of autism treatment,” says Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Skills® co-creator and CARD founder/CEO. “Skills® offers the first and only ABA-based comprehensive cognition and executive functions curricula available in an online program that provides the ability to create intervention plans to address the challenging behaviors and developmental delays commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in every 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with ASD, making it more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer, and pediatric AIDS combined. It is considered to be the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, and current research shows that the average family spends approximately $40,000-$60,000 annually for autism treatment.

“When creating Skills®, we wanted to address the urgent need for affordable, accessible, and effective autism treatment,” says Dr. Granpeesheh. “The Skills® curriculum is comprehensive and very accessible, making it possible for Magellan’s providers to achieve measurable results with each child.”

Skills® has an assessment module with a corresponding curriculum that addresses every skill a child learns in typical development, from infancy to adolescence and across every area of human development. It is designed to give those who treat children with ASD access to the industry’s most comprehensive assessment of a child’s development. The results are linked directly to a set of eight curricula that provide individualized lesson plans with step-by-step instructions for teaching children necessary skills, including social, motor, language, adaptive, play, executive functions, cognition, and academic skills. Although Skills® will automate lessons, it also allows users the flexibility to tailor the program to the child’s unique needs while tracking a child’s progress and achievements. Each of the nearly 4,000 lessons also includes worksheets, visual aids, tracking forms, and video lessons, as well as the ability to create Individual Education Plans (IEPs) easily.

Launched in 2011, Skills® is used in over 14 countries worldwide and in more than 200 school districts nationwide. In July, 2013, Skills® received top marks from the peer-reviewed journal, Behavior Analysis in Practice (BAP), for its comprehensive curriculum organization, user-friendly website design, and functionality for users working to treat individuals with ASD. CARD also partners with ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national nonprofit organization, to offer scholarships for Skills to families of children with ASD who cannot afford or access the tools their children need to reach their highest potential.

For more information about Skills® and to view a demonstration, visit http://www.skillsforautism.com.

PRESS CONTACT:
Daphne Plump
Phone: (661) 478-6512
Email: d(dot)plump(at)centerforautism(dot)com

About Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)

CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at its 26 treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. CARD employs a dedicated team of over 1,000 individuals across the nation and internationally. For more information, visit http://www.centerforautism.com.

About Magellan Health Services

Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services Inc. is a leading specialty health care management organization with expertise in managing behavioral health, radiology, and pharmacy benefits programs, as well as integrated health care programs for special populations. Magellan delivers innovative solutions to improve quality outcomes and optimize the cost of care for those they serve. As of June 30, 2013, Magellan's customers include health plans, employers, and government agencies, serving approximately 34.0 million members in their behavioral health business, 17.4 million members in their radiology benefits management segment, and approximately 9 million members in their medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the pharmacy solutions segment serves 40 health plans and employers, 25 states and the District of Columbia, and several pharmaceutical manufacturers. For more information, visit http://www.magellanhealth.com.

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