Ginnie Muller grew up on a farm in South Carolina where she lived with her paternal grandmother and uncle with disabilities in a farmhouse built with wooden pegs. Muller and her brother were fortunate to attend Harvard together and after receiving a masters and MBA, she pursued a career in finance.
Muller has been married to her husband Tim for almost 30 years and together they have two sons. Their youngest son has severe autism, IDD, and epilepsy. He was one of the first children to be evaluated and diagnosed by The Autism Center at Texas Children’s Hospital.
When her son became an adult, their family suddenly fell off a cliff into an unknown abyss. Migrating to new doctors, fighting constant insurance denials, finding a competent agency, and accepting provider for waiver programs, and battling SSI over false claims of VA income, to name just a few challenges, were only compounded by COVID. Ginnie emerged from COVID isolation committed to becoming a strong advocate for her son and the thousands of adults with developmental disabilities in Texas who are denied benefits and are socially marginalized.
Inaccessibility of HHS HCBS Programs for Adults with Profound Autism and Severe IDD
Providers of Medicaid waiver programs have total discretion to deny services to any adult eligible for services without providing an assessment, trial period, accommodations, or explanation. As a result, adults with profound autism and severe intellectual and developmental disabilities who have the highest level of need and require 24/7 lifetime support are disproportionately denied services as compared to other individuals with disabilities eligible for waiver programs. Through her capstone project, Muller hopes to raise awareness to address the critical shortage of providers for this under-served population which continues to grow rapidly.