Susan's Blog

Monday, April 23, 2007

Massachusetts Autism Alert

This message is for any of my Massachusetts readers. Please act to expand the Division of Autism in our state. If you are not in Massachusetts, feel free to take this text and push your own Legislature to designate a Division of Autism, separate from the Department of Mental Retardation, for better services for people with autism, if there is not one already. If you read my blog because of autism, you should be very familiar with your state reps and state senators by now, and they should roll their eyes when they hear it is you on the phone. Being this kind of pain in the ass is the only way to keep autism services on the front burner.

URGENT AFAM (Advocates for Autism Massachusetts) ALERT


Ask your Representative to support House Budget Amendment #1159
To increase funding for the Division of Autism

The House of Representatives is voting on the State Budget for next year. The budget currently proposes level funding for the Division of Autism, despite the fact that the number of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) continues to climb at an alarming rate.

Rep. Barbara L’Italien filed House Budget Amendment #1159 to increase funding for the Division of Autism to $5 million. It is crucial for the Division of Autism to receive additional funding in order to address the needs of families of children with ASD.

Additional funding for the Division of Autism will:

? Help newly diagnosed families access resources and available treatment

? Provide behavioral, social and communication services and programs necessary to support children with autism ages 0-18 in the community

? Expand the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition (“ALEC”) program statewide to provide more training for police, firefighters, EMTs and other public safety officials to help them recognize the signs of autism and effectively respond in emergency situations
? Offer job-training programs and independent living skill classes for teen-agers with autism

If you believe the Division of Autism needs more funding to better serve children with ASD, here is what you can do:
IMMEDIATELY call your state representative at 617-722-2000 and say you support House Budget Amendment #1159 which increases funding for the Division of Autism to $5 million. If you are not sure who your representative is, call your city hall or visit
Let your Representative know how important this funding is for your family.
ÿ Provide examples of services and programs your child has received after-school, weekends, school vacations and the importance of these services.
ÿ Equally important, give examples of services your child needs but has been unable to obtain and the harmful impact.
If you have time to make additional calls, please call Rep. Robert DeLeo, Chair of House Ways and Means (617-722-2990), and Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi (617-722-2500) in support of House Budget Amendment # 1159.

For further information, contact Ann Guay at 781-891-6270 x102 or

Sponsored by: Advocates for Autism Massachusetts (AFAM), Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Asperger’s Association of New England, Autism Alliance of MetroWest, Inc., Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts, Autism Society of America, Massachusetts Chapter, Autism Support Center, Till/Boston Families for Autism, Inc., Community Autism Resources, Inc, Community Resources for People with Autism, Family Autism Center, The ARC of Massachusetts, Autism Speaks and Massachusetts Advocates for Children


Susan, I am assuming that you are going to be at the State House on April 30? I have been waiting for this day for a long time! We are scheduled for a prehearing conference on May 1, so this will get me in gear!

— added by Autismlicious on Monday, April 23, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Susan, you are so right – our kids are going to age out and then what? I just spoke with a Mom in CT who said her friend had an adult son with autism and that MRDD had nothing to offer them – he didn’t qualify because of his IQ. So much fighting to do for our kids. Thanks for picking up on this area. I stink at leglislative advocacy. Can’t wrap my head around it. My girls will likely be adults in Massachusetts. So, thank you.

Kim Stagliano

— added by happyspringbreakisOVER on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 9:28 am

Thinking about returning to New England (from CT, but the military took me away and now live in DC). We would like to finally settle somewhere in western MA. Of course, we need to know how it would be for Robby, my 25-year old autistic son. He’s non-verbal,low functioning and lives in a group home. Our time frame is sometime in 2013. Not sure what it’s like there for funding and support.

Thanks for any help


— added by Mike, aka, Robby's dad on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Wow, sounds great. Out of curiosity-did this pass? Would love to advocate for other states to do this as well. Sad to see autism under the blanket of DMR.

— added by Signs of Autism in Toddlers on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

Yes, indeed it did!

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

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