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Saturday, March 8, 2014
Any therapy can cost a lot of money, and parents faced with a diagnosis of autism may not know where to begin.
The Autism Society of America is a highly recommended resource that provides a comprehensive Information and Referral service via a toll free number, 1-800-3 AUTISM, as well as an online referral database, AutismSource. These resources include federal, state and local government agencies.
The Autism Treatment Center of America also has information about a number of programs and services. Additionally, Autism Speaks provides a publication called the 100 Day Kit that gives concrete, albeit perhaps a little overwhelming, steps to take after a child is diagnosed.
Ohio parents may find various forms of assistance by visiting Autism Resources for Ohio Parents.
Several states, including Texas, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, South Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, and Indiana, have enacted legislation requiring private insurance companies to include coverage of autism spectrum needs. Florida has coverage with some limitations. Coverage is under consideration in Ohio.
The Autism Society of America has prepared state profiles in a systematic format that describe what action has been taken or is under consideration on a state-by-state basis. (Search "autism insurance coverage.")
Federal laws can make additional requirements. President-elect Obama publicly stated support for national legislation that would require autism coverage in all states, so more changes make take place in the next few years. In his presidential campaign statement on Autism Spectrum Disorders, President Obama committed to bringing autism insurance reform to the entire nation, promising that he "...will mandate insurance coverage of autism treatment and will also continue to work with parents, physicians, providers, researchers, and schools to create opportunities and effective solutions for people with ASD."
For the complete campaign statement, and to read the draft legislation, go to Autism Votes. On this site you can also sign up to receive action alerts pertaining to this important initiative.
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: Apr 02, 2009
Patricia H Cloppert, BSFS
Faculty Parent Advocate
Program Manager for Parent/Family Support
OSU Nisonger Center
The Ohio State University