Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Some young children with developmental delays may catch-up to their typically developing peers with appropriate interventions. Others may not.

Medicaid is currently the primary funding stream for programs and services and supports offered to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities after the age of 21 and is the funding stream for many related services for the school-age population.

Children with disabilities may qualify for Medicaid regardless of  family income? Even families with incomes well over that allowed by Medicaid can apply and may have their child deemed Medicaid eligible.

The Medicaid Waiver is NOT a program but a funding stream that pays for certain services and supports “waiving” some of the strict Medicaid rules and regulations.

The right to a free and appropriate education (FAPE) is an entitlement under federal law for all children of school-age (5-21) and for children ages 3-5 that are deemed eligible for special education.

After the age of 21, adult programs are NOT an entitlement under law. Rather, you will have to advocate to obtain adult services and supports.

New York State has always had the most comprehensive array of services available to meet the needs of children and individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the country.

Dually eligible and dually diagnosed are NOT the same thing. An individual who is dually eligible is eligible for funding from Medicaid and Medicare. A person who is dually diagnosed is usually someone with a developmental disability and a   psychiatric diagnosis or a chemical dependency or a medical diagnosis.

Your son / daughter can have a private insurance as well as Medicaid.

If you are being evicted or threatened with eviction, you can call (212) 962-4795, the City Wide Task Force on Housing Court.

All New Yorkers without health insurance, including people who are undocumented, can receive healthcare from Community Health Centers (CHCs) and from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), or the NYU Free Clinic.

The U. S. Department of Transportation has a Hotline for air travelers with Disabilities: 1 (800) 778-4838.

You can call the NYC Human Resources, at 1 (877) 472-8411, for information on Medicaid Home Care eligibility.

For Food Stamps and Food Programs, you can call the Emergency Foodline at 311 or toll free at 1 (866) 888-8777.

You need to call the TOTLINE, at 1 (800) 577-BABY, to make a referral for Early Intervention Services.

Once your son or daughter with a developmental disability reaches the age of 18, no matter what his or her cognitive capacity, you are NO longer his or her legal guardian unless you file a petition for guardianship with the Surrogates Court in your borough of residence.

A traumatic brain injury incurred before the age of 22 is considered to be a developmental disability whereas the same injury, if incurred after the age of 21 is NOT a developmental disability.

If an individual has a Special Needs Trust, he or she may still be eligible for Medicaid.

An individual may receive multiple services under the OPWDD Medicaid Waiver.

An individual with a developmental disability may receive different services from many different provider organizations.

There are many ways that you can support AHRC New York City and the people we provide services to:

The AHRC New York City Foundation offers a variety of options for donating funds in support of our cause.

Visit our website’s Volunteer page to learn about the variety of ways you can help.

You can also support what we do by following us on Facebook and helping to pass along vital information through your own personal network.

> LEARN MORE ABOUT WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP

 

 

We encourage all interested job candidates to use our Online Job Portal to review and apply for available positions. The online portal contains a regularly updated list of positions that are currently open and which allows you to submit your resume for consideration using an on-line application process. To view our our Online Job Portal or to learn more about the application process, please visit the Careers section of this website.

AHRC New York City offers a variety of employment opportunities including Direct Care, Clinical, Social Work, Teaching, Finance, Case Management, and IT. To learn more, please visit the Careers section of this website.

If you would like general information about the services offered by AHRC New York City, please call our Referral and Information Center at 212-780-4491.

Yes. AHRC New York City has a staff of qualified professionals available to conduct evaluations such as:  psychological evaluations; psychiatric evaluations; medical evaluations; nursing, nutrition and podiatry evaluations; occupational, speech and physical therapy evaluations.  Arrangements can be made to provide other evaluation as needed. For more information, please call our Referral and Information Center at 212-780-4491.

AHRC New York City offers individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities a wide range of programs, services and supports tailored to meet their specific needs. For information on services offered at AHRC New York City, please visit the Services & Supports section of this website.

After years of advocacy across the nation and internationally by individuals served and their families, the term “mental retardation” is no longer used. In its place the terms intellectual and other developmental disabilities are utilized in both common parlance and now in State and Federal law.

AHRC New York City chose to continue using the acronym AHRC, as we have been known as such for more than 60 years. We no longer use the words that the letters AHRC once represented.

AHRC New York City has over 100 locations throughout the five boroughs of the City. You may visit our locations page to see these facilities. AHRC New York City’s headquarters is located at 83 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038, and is easily accessible using public transportation.

By Train: J,M,Z,4 or 5 to Fulton Street / 2 or 3 to Wall Street / A or C to Broadway/Nassau
By Bus: M1 or M6 to Cortlandt Street / M9 or M15 to Maiden Lane
By Ferry: Whitehall Terminal (South Ferry)

An intellectual or developmental disability is a disability that originates before the age of twenty-two and is expected to continue indefinitely. It is attributable to a condition such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neurological impairment, autism or traumatic brain injury, when such conditions result in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior. Impairment of intellectual functioning means that a person has an intellectual quotient (an IQ as measured by a standardized IQ test) which is two or more standard deviations below the mean (an IQ of 70 or less using a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15). Impairment of adaptive behavior means that the person has overall adaptive behavior which is significantly limited in two or more skill areas (communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure and work). These limitations are a direct result of the person’s cognitive deficits.

A developmental delay is slowed or impaired development in a child who is under five years of age and who is at risk of manifesting a developmental disability because of the presence of one or more of the following: chromosomal conditions associated with intellectual and developmental disabilities; congenital syndromes associated with delay in development; metabolic disorders; prenatal infections and significant medical problems; low birth weight; postnatal acquired problems known to result in delays; or delays of 1.5 standard deviations or more in the area of communication, and/or self-help, and/or social emotional, and/or motor skills, and/or sensory development, and/or cognition.

AHRC NYC recognizes that all individuals, regardless of their limitations, have a capacity to learn new skills and live a worthwhile life. AHRC NYC primarily serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism and traumatic brain injury; and, serves children whose developmental delays are significant and attributable to many causal factors.

According to the Developmental Disabilities Act (Pub. L. 106-402), the term developmental disability means a severe, chronic disability that: is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments; occurs before the individual reaches age 22, is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: (i) self-care, (ii) receptive and expressive language, (iii) learning, (iv) mobility, (v) self-direction, (vi) capacity for independent living, and (vii) economic self-sufficiency; and reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.  Before the age of ten, an infant or child with developmental delays may be considered to have an intellectual or developmental disability if his or her disabilities are likely to meet the above criteria without intervention.

Many individuals with intellectual disability also meet the definition of developmental disability, however; it is estimated that at least half of individuals with intellectuals with intellectual disability will have significant limitations in only one area of adaptive behavior.

Those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) include individuals with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delay, autism and autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (or FASD) or any of hundreds of specific syndromes and neurological conditions that can result in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with intellectual disabilities. An estimated 4.6 million Americans have an intellectual or developmental disability (Larson, 2000) although prevalence studies may not identify all people with intellectual disabilities.  For example, many school age children receive a diagnosis of learning disability, developmental delay, behavior disorder, or autism instead of intellectual disability.

An individual is considered to have intellectual and developmental disabilities based upon the following three criteria: his/her intellectual functioning level as measured by an IQ test is below 70; he/she has significant limitations in two or more adaptive skill areas (which might include communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure and work); and the condition is present from childhood (defined as age 18 or earlier). Intellectual and developmental disability is not a disease, nor should it be confused with so-called mental illness. About 85 percent of people with the condition fall within the mild range of disability, whereas the remaining 15 percent have disabilities of varying severity.

The prevalence rate of intellectual and developmental disability in the United States is between 2.5 and 3 percent of the general population, or an estimated 6.2 to 7.5 million people based on the 1990 census. Intellectual and developmental disability is 12 times more common than cerebral palsy and affects 100 times as many people as total blindness. One out of every ten families is directly affected.

There are currently hundreds of known organic and acquired causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities.  For instance, the most common chromosomal cause is Down syndrome, whereas the most commonly known single gene cause is Fragile X syndrome. But these are only two of many different etiologies and make up a small percent of those diagnosed with the condition. In addition to the long list of organic causes, adverse environmental and social factors (which include poverty, lack of prenatal care, drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy resulting in FAS – fetal alcohol syndrome) are placing greater and greater numbers of individuals at-risk for intellectual and developmental disability. In spite of all that is known, in 50 percent of all cases of intellectual and developmental disability there is no known specific cause.

For more information on services offered for individuals with Developmental Disabilities, please visit the Services & Supports section of this website.

In the diagnostic manual used to classify disabilities, the DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), autistic disorder is listed as a category under the heading “Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD’s)” which also includes Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, Williams syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). These PDD’s are developmental disabilities that share many of the same characteristics (twelve characteristics are listed with different disorders being defined by the presence of some or the twelve), are usually evident by the age of three, and affect, to a different degree, an individual child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play and relate to others.

Autism specifically, is defined by federal education law as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction…that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.” Individuals with autism vary widely in their intelligence and abilities, as well as in the behaviors they exhibit.

Estimates on the prevalence of autism vary, with some estimating 1 out of 110 live births. Autism and PDD’s are four times more common in boys than girls. The causes of autism and PDD are unknown. Currently, researchers are investigating areas such as neurological damage and biochemical imbalances of the brain, whereas in the not too distant past, psychological factors were blamed for the disorder.

For more information on services offered for individuals with Autism, please visit the Services & Supports section of this website.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external force, resulting in a change in level of consciousness or an anatomical abnormality of the brain, and does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital, degenerative or induced by birth trauma. However, service provision can include individuals with strokes, aneurysms or other acquired brain injury. Every incident of head injury is different. In each individual with TBI the type of injury, the locus of the primary brain damage, the ensuing secondary damage, and the resulting pattern of deficits in the areas of physical, cognitive, psychosocial and/or executive functions, are unique. Factors creating even more diversity are the age of the individual upon sustaining the injury, “who” that individual was prior to injury, the care (if any) received immediately following the injury and subsequent care, and the physical and psychosocial environment surrounding that individual before and after his/her injury.

Regardless of individual differences, a number of underlying facts implicit in the definition of traumatic brain injury constitute a common ground. A traumatic brain injury occurs suddenly in the course of normal development leaving a person significantly changed. Damage to the brain is usually diffuse and widespread (not typically resulting in one kind of deficit), but is not global. And, the brain’s ability to be aware of the changes incurred is frequently impaired. These underlying facts that constitute the basic commonality between individuals with TBI are the very same facts that make these individuals different from those born with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. Although many of these same specific deficits acquired by individuals who have sustained injuries, if viewed in isolation, are also characteristics of individuals born with developmental disabilities, the gestalt is quite different and their needs are different.

If a person acquires a traumatic brain injury before the age of 21 and manifests developmental problems, that individual is considered to be developmentally disabled. Although quite arbitrary, if the injury occurs at the age of 22 or later and results in disability, it is not considered to be a developmental disability.

The CDC reports that Falls are the leading cause of brain injury (28%); Motor vehicle crashes (20%); Struckby/against events (19%) and Assaults (11%).  Men are twice as likely as women to suffer traumatic brain injuries.

For more information on services offered for people with Traumatic Brain Injury, please visit the Traumatic Brain Injury section of this website.