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Landmark Autism Treatment Acceleration Act

>> Saturday, April 4, 2009

In recent days on capitol hill, the Landmark Autism Treatment Acceleration Act has been big news at Autism Votes. Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today applauded the introduction of the groundbreaking Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (ATAA). Originally drafted by then-Senator Barack Obama and introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), ATAA is comprehensive federal legislation that addresses several critical challenges facing the autism community, including increased funding for scientific research, treatment and services. The ATAA incorporates provisions from the Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act (EPIAA) originally proposed by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Autism Speaks applauds the introduction of the act. To help address the unique needs of adults with ASDs, the bill would create a demonstration project with one-year planning grants and multi-year implementation grants for the provision of service for adults with autism. These services would address important issues such as education and employment, housing, nutrition and wellness, social activities, and transportation and personal safety. A key section of the bill requires insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASDs), including coverage of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy – a medically-necessary, evidence-based autism treatment – and assistive communication devices. In most states, insurers are currently allowed to specifically exclude coverage for these critical services, which can cost upward of $50,000 a year – well beyond the means of most families. I am just lucky that Medicaid is paying for what little that we do get. I have always wanted more for the boys as far as treatment goes, but without insurance to pay for these things and the money to pay for insurance it is very hard; almost to the point of not getting those extra services and help that everyone should be entitled to.
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1 special comments:

Mark Schmidt April 16, 2009 at 8:23 PM  

This is a GREAT piece of legislation, and we were pleased to have Senator Durbin visit The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) for his first media event after the bill's introduction. You can watch TV coverage at our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCxcnzdTlC8