Saturday, June 20, 2009

Autism Speaks

Recently, my friend Annette (check out her blog at posted information on a radio commercial in Ohio on autism. This is a subject Annette is very familiar with as one of her children has autism. There are so many times I read her blog and get tears in my eyes, saying a prayer for her and her family. I have a few other friends here in Minnesota who have children with autism...from a very high functioning where you may not even realize it to some with severely autistic children. I'm not even able to fathom what these families go thru...but they continue to get my prayer support.

Following is the post Annette put on her blog (used with her permission). For my thousands of readers in Ohio (okay, the six or so of you), if you've not done so yet, please call. I don't know if other states have anything like this, but I'm thrilled to see and read about how different parts of autism (diagnosis, treatment, support, etc.) are finally being recognized and addressed. Please, keep these special people and their families and caretakers in your prayers.

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37)

Recently, I have been hearing a radio ad sponsored by Autism Speaks asking for Insurance Reform in the State of Ohio. In the state of Ohio, autism is not covered by insurance. This means when we go to the doctor, if it is in regards to her autism, we pay the cost. Recently it hasn’t been too much out of our pocket, but I think back to when Natalie was ages 4, 5, and 6. We gave her 2,000 hours of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Paying tutors and therapists for this intervention wasn’t covered by insurance. (Paying a therapist at $25.00 an hour for 2,000 hours is $50,000.00.)

Let’s look at the benefits of ABA. Because we had early intervention for Natalie, she now speaks and is able to express herself. At age four, she was not able to say a single word nor could she understand any of our words. Thanks to the therapists and a lot of hard work, Natalie is now high functioning on the autism spectrum. I am sure that if you interview enough families, you will come up lower functioning individuals whose families couldn’t afford to pay for intervention. It is a shame that there isn’t help out there for families like this. The ad calls this “discrimination against children with autism.”If you live in Ohio, you can help get autism covered by insurance by reading the following and making a phone call. It can make a big difference for a lot of families stricken with a child with autism.The following is a script of the radio ad:

~~I just don’t understand how they get away with it. Why does the law let health insurance companies discriminate against children with autism? Families are going broke paying for medical services their children desperately need. Cancer is covered. Diabetes is covered. But not autism – even though autism has become more common than most childhood ailments combined. Speaker of the House Armond Budish has led the effort to end the terrible discrimination against people with autism. The Speaker hopes to leave a legacy of care for all of those who suffer with autism.

Please call Speaker Budish today and express your support as he defends his autism insurance reform provision in the budget negotiations with the Senate. Call Speaker Budish at (800) 282-0253… that’s (800) 282-0253. This message was paid for by Autism Speaks. It’s time for the Ohio Legislature to listen.~ Autism Speaks: taken from Autism Votes at:

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