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2013 legislative session brings some good outcomes for autism community

The 2013 legislative session had some good outcomes for the ASD community. The Health and Human Services Omnibus bill included $12 million in new funding for services for children with autism; initiatives to improve the early screening, diagnosis, and treatment of children with ASD in managed care programs; and requirements for large group health plans to cover autism therapies. 

Parental fees under the TEFRA medical assistance option were eliminated for families under 275 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and fees for those above were rolled back to 2010 levels. 

In the area of special education, laws and rules were tightened regarding the use of prone restraint and restrictive procedures, and more training is required on positive behavioral strategies. 

The AuSM advocacy committee will meet this summer to discuss the 2013 session and prepare for 2014. If you would like to participate in the discussion, contact Jean Bender, AuSM’s Public Policy Committee Chair.