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State Autism Profiles: Vermont

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In 2000, 174 or 1.17% of children ages 3-21 who received special education services in Vermont had autism. In 2014-2015, 1,004 or 7.17 % of children with disabilities ages 3-21 who received special education services have autism.

Table 1-1: IDEA Part B - Children with Autism in Vermont for 1999-2000 and 2014-2015
(Child Count by Age Group)

Age 3-5



Age 6-21



Age 3-21



Source: Reported by the State of Vermont in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Table 1-2: IDEA Part B - Children with Disabilities in Vermont for 1999-2000 and 2014-2015
(Child Count by Age Group)

Age 3-5



Age 6-11



Age 12-17



Age 18-21



Age 6-21



Age 3-21



Source: Reported by the State of Vermont in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs


Vermont Autism Planning Committee
In May 2007, S.B. 121 was signed into law, creating an autism planning committee within the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, Division of Disability and Aging Services. The legislation calls for the development of a comprehensive autism initiative to improve the services provided to individuals with autism. The Vermont Agency of Human Service is the lead agency with an interagency cooperation agreement with Vermont Department of Education. The initiative should be implemented by 2012. Additionally, the legislation establishes an advisory council of seven members, appointed by the governor, to oversee the development and planning of the initiative. The council submitted a report to the legislation in January 2008 and a working plan in July 2008.


On May 27, 2010, the autism insurance reform bill, S.262 was signed into law. S.262 requires health insurance coverage for the evidence based diagnosis and treatment of ASD for children from 18 months to 6 years old. This bill also requires a study of autism insurance reform for children with ASD that are over the age of six. Health insurance companies are required to provide coverage for habilitative or rehabilitative, pharmacy, psychiatric, psychological, and therapeutic care. Vt. Stat. Ann. Tit. 8 § 4088i (2010 Vt. Acts, Act 127; SB 262 of 2010; Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office Analysis)

In May 2012, Governor Shumlin signed an expansion of autism insurance legislation into law. S. 223 extended autism insurance coverage to individuals from birth until age 21, whereas previous legislation covered individuals from 18 months to six years old. Coverage includes state-regulated private individual and group health insurance plans, as well as Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or any other public health care assistance program. The act also added that as of January 1, 2014, to the extent that required benefits exceed the essential health benefits specified under the federal Affordable Care Act, the specific benefits that exceed the essential health benefits are not required of qualified health plans that are offered in the state by a health carrier through a health benefit exchange. 2012 Vt. Acts, Act 158


Under the Affordable Care Act, Vermont will offer autism services including applied behavior analysis (ABA) in its Essential Health Benefits package. Vermont has categorized ABA under “habilitative services,” though they have not defined the term. The exchange is being run by the federal government.
(The Vermont Health Plan, LLC; CDHP-HMO)


Under the passage of S. 223 (see State Insurance Coverage above), Vermont expanded Medicaid coverage to parallel the coverage provided under its autism insurance legislation for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.

In June 2015, H.B. 490 was signed into law under the Medicaid Program Saving Initiative, requiring the Agency of Human Services in collaboration with the Departments of Health, of Vermont Health Access, of Mental Health, and of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living, to review the scope and delivery methods of autism services in Medicaid in comparison with those under private insurance to understand areas of inconsistency due to federal or state policies.


Behavioral Analysts Licensing Board
In 2015, legislation was introduced to require the Office of Professional Regulation to license and regulate applied behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts. S.136 was referred to the Committee on Government Operations. No further action was taken.

Legislation (S.274) was introduced in January 2008 for the Vermont Agency of Human Services, Department of Education, and Department of Labor to create pilot regional autism centers to centralize services provided to individuals with autism. Services include working with schools developing programs and services to support students with autism; developing and coordinating transitional services for students with autism as they move into the community after school; and collaborating with public-private partnerships to coordinate community-based services for individuals with autism, ages 23 years or older. The legislation was referred to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. No further action was taken.


The Vermont Legislature meets in Regular Session annually on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January. The 2016 session convened on January 5, 2016 and adjourned May 6, 2016. The 2017 session is expected to convene January 4, 2017 and adjourn in early May 2017.

Sponsors of Autism Legislation

  • Sen. John F. Campbell (D–Windsor District)
  • Sen. Virginia “Ginny” Lyons (D-Chittenden District)
  • Sen. Anthony Pollina (D-Washington District)

Prepared by Easterseals, Inc.; November 2016.

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