Brian M. is a cheerful 11-year-old boy who has autism and an eating disorder that has caused him to need support from a speech therapist for most of his life. Eating solid foods is a struggle for him and his speech therapist works with him to develop independent and safe eating skills.

However, in order to further his progress, Brian's therapist wanted to meet with him more often. Brian's family could not afford this. They were privately paying for his therapist and while they desperately wanted to help Brian more, they simply could not afford it.

Brian's parents realized that their son needed more than the help he was receiving at school - he needed other services at home. Brian's parents felt that he would regress without this additional assistance.

Traditional services were not meeting Brian's needs. His parents decided to turn to Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS), an OPWDD service which gives people with disabilities and their families the ability to design and manage services based on their individual needs and goals. Those who choose CSS can control their own budgets with help from a financial management services agency. CDS Monarch offers start-up and support brokers to aid individuals and their families with creating and maintaining their CSS plan and budget.

Brian and his family began the CSS application process in October, upon the recommendation of their Medicaid Service Coordinator. They worked with with a CDS Monarch start-up broker to write Brian's plan, which was approved in June.

CSS has been incredible for Brian and his family, both financially and with regards to the extra support. Brian is now able to see his speech therapist three times a week instead of two. Brian and his family are very thankful to have learned about CSS, as it has been a tremendous benefit for them.
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