Colorado – New legislation could eliminate therapy waiting lists for children with autism

Denver, CO – A bill that will potentially eliminate the wait time for autism therapies has passed a state Senate committee.

Currently, treating a child on the severe end of the spectrum can cost as much as $30 000 annually. As a result, many parents struggle to meet the exceptional needs of their children which include social, behavioural and communicative deficits. However although there are 300 children on the wait list, the state restricts the amount of applicants who are eligible for Medicaid to only 75.

The average wait time is therefore over two years and children often languish on it, only to lose their eligibility for services when they become too old for it at the age of six. The new legislation would subsequently prevent that from occurring and could also increase the age limit, ensuring that all children are guaranteed the provision of therapy for three years. Proponents of the bill including Pat Steadman, a democrat who represents Denver, argues that the status quo is simply ineffective in helping to mitigate the devastating effect that the disorder often has on families.

Steadman also believes that all children on the spectrum should have the opportunity to receive new and effective treatments that are continuously being developed which can ultimately improve the prognosis of those who have been diagnosed.

Source: CBS Denver news website:Bill To Change Lives Of Children With Autism Moves Forward