Susan's Blog

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To Your (and My) Health

In case you are not aware, there is a movement sweeping the nation that is of absolute importance to autism families, that has nothing to do with cure vs. accept, diet vs. Floortime, A vs. B. It is about all of us. I am talking about insurance coverage.

Today parents, professionals, and legislators met at the Massachusetts State House in downtown Boston to testify at a hearing for Bill H3809, which is about mandating private insurance coverage for autism therapies. Fifteen other states have already passed such a measure, which will relieve school systems of anywhere from $7 million-10 million expenditures in autism support. Not to mention the millions Massachusetts families already spend, as well as their angst and energy.

I was only there for an hour, but I heard one of my heroes, State Rep. Barbara L’Italien, mother of an Asperger’s teen, give testimony about what parents like her (and me, and you) go through to help their children learn to talk, socialize, ameliorate their behaviors and sensory issues, and adjust their bodies when their neurology is working in another direction. L’Italien said there were already 111 legislators sponsoring the bill, which is tremendously encouraging, but the bill is still in Committee, so it needs phone calls to dislodge it from there.

Representative DiNatale from Fitchburg talked about a constituent of his who could not attend herself because of the need to care for her child with Asperger’s. Drs. Rafael Castro and Ann Neumeyer (a LADDERS clinician; LADDERS is where Nat was first diagnosed by the great and powerful Margaret Bauman, back in the Autism Stone Age of 1992) testified about how there are many more children with autism than even Type 1 Diabetes, but that none of these autistic children receive insurance support from Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance (for the most part). Parents work two or three jobs to get the care their kids need. Despite there being many plans which are extremely beneficial such as Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans, due to the busy daily schedule of life not many people know about them. Which ends up in them missing plans suitable for their needs.

This is an issue that is nationwide, worldwide. This is all about helping families (and school systems, e.g., towns and cities) and most of all, children in great need. This is about fairness. This issue should not be controversial. The law needs to change. Autistic families need help NOW.


ASAN and the Hub autistics would tell you that is "curing". They would also tell you that all these children and adults needs is "just a little more help".

Keep up the good work. They deserve better.

— added by farmwifetwo on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Why only autism? There are children with other neurological diagnoses who need similar assistance but who get left out of these umbrellas. Why not a coalition?

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Absolutely. I would like to see a coalition.

— added by Susan Senator on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Amen, sister!

— added by Brenda on Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm

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