One More State Supports Medical Care for Autism

autism researchIf your child is diagnosed with autism, you immediately look into all of the health care options that can make a difference in how your child develops and relates to the world. Which is why I just assumed that behavioral therapy for autistic children was a medical expense that was covered by health insurance. Silly me, health insurance companies like to classify early intervention -- that can make an incredible difference in how a child can function -- as educational rather than medical and refuse to cover the costs.

No more in California, as it joins 27 other states to mandate that insurers cover the cost of behavioral therapy for children who are on the spectrum. Which makes me think if you live in any of those other states -- you're simply out of luck if your child is one of those 1 in 100. How is that okay?

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One mother explains how pursuing Applied Behavior Analysis for her autistic son in her home drained them of all of their savings and all of her salary. Families are literally going broke over this expense that some say can have such a dramatic effect on a child that he will be able to integrate. That integration, of course, means less funds are needed for more therapies and intervention.

It really boggles the mind that a health insurance company would refuse to see the benefit -- the dramatic benefit -- to a child's health and development by covering behavioral therapy. It's yet another medical cost that is causing families to lose their homes and children to suffer. Which is why this mandate is so important.

Unfortunately if the federal health care reform does not list behavioral therapy for autistic children on its list of benefits next year, the California mandate will expire. Which is why we all need to be contacting our Senators and Representatives and The White House. It's too important for the future of 24,000 children who are born each year and will be diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

 

Image via FifthWorldArt/Flickr

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