Monday, February 13, 2012

From One Parent to Another

**  Attend the February 28th Autism Advocacy Kick Off Event and get a chance to win a Kindle Fire!!!  

From one parent to another…

Autism is treatable, so let’s help.
Autism is no longer a "rare disorder". It is estimated that nearly 1% of the population is now being diagnosed. That is 1 in 110 children, and 1 in 70 boys. Let’s compare this to other childhood illnesses:

1 in 400 Type 1 Diabetes
1 in 2000 Childhood Cancer
1 in 3500 Cystic Fibrosis

There are now more children being diagnosed with Autism than AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined. It is not just the parent’s problem anymore; it is going to be a societal issue going forward. It is everybody’s issue.

We are working hard to increase affordable access to health care coverage for medically necessary care for all individuals who have autism. We believe that: individuals who have autism need options for treatment, therapy and services; families need more information about options for treatment, therapy and services; and, that these options must be more affordable.

I need help from parents, caregivers, service providers, and educators! You cannot be too busy, our autistic children, adults and the community are about to lose everything! We have support from Autism Speaks, The Arc Greater Twin Cities, and the Autism Advocacy and Law Center, but I need your support, yes that means you, to make this happen.

The legislative session began January 24th, and the autism community has a lot to be concerned about. Children who have autism and who are in need of intensive early intervention behavior therapy (known as IEIBT and also sometimes referred to as ABA therapy) are facing cuts in coverage by BCBS, and uncertainty in coverage from public healthcare programs. It is now impossible to go to the private marketplace and obtain a health insurance policy that covers medically necessary, evidence-based treatment for children who have autism. BCBS has announced that it will change its health insurance plans during the coming year to exclude IEIBT and ABA therapy from coverage. It has been reported that these changes will immediately affect at least 200 children in Minnesota.

Children who have autism enrolled in Medical Assistance have experienced upheaval and uncertainty during the past year as DHS has repeatedly denied, reduced, and delayed coverage for intensive early intervention behavior therapy. Through multiple advocacy efforts, including the voices of parents who are passionately concerned about the future of their children, we have been able to convince DHS to maintain current levels of coverage for medically necessary treatment.

Our challenge is to convince as many parents, caregivers, service providers and educators as possible to contact their legislators and share their story about how IEIBT is helping their child or children they know or have worked with. We need people to call, write, email, and visit in-person with their legislators and ask for their support in creating affordable access to health care for individuals who have autism and need treatment, therapy and services.

Please join US and let’s make a difference together. We cannot do it alone.

Kindest Regards,
Sheri Radoux
Parent of three kids with Autism

Pia Prenevost
Parent of one amazing boy with Autism

PS:  We have supplied you with all you need to know about getting involved!  Just click on the pages on the right hand side to get all the information you need to join us!!!  And please join our Facebook Page to learn more!!