Parents of autistic child sue Ohio Health Department

Cincinnati, OH — Parents of a three-year-old autistic child from Mansfield, Ohio filed charges against the Ohio Department of Health and System Coordinator Wendy Grove for allegedly failing to provide law-mandated treatment for their child.

Nikki and Gary Ruhl filed the charges Sept.18 at the US Federal Court, alleging discrimination by the state’s health department for failing to provide the necessary treatments to the autistic children of Ohio. The lawsuit filed by the Ruhls asserts that the state health department refused to provide intensive treatment necessary for children below the age of 3 who were diagnosed with autism.

According to the Ruhls’ lawyer, Richard Ganulin, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates that early intervention services for children with autism should be provided by the state as required by the law.

A similar case was also filed against the Ohio Health Department by Robert and Holly Young, parents to Roman, an autistic child now aged 4. The Youngs’ case against the health department was just recently settled in federal court, where the state has agreed to pay about $142,000.

The Ruhls are currently seeking over $500,000 in the lawsuit against the health department, the total amount apparently needed for the services necessary to help their son attain the same level of development that he could have achieved through earlier treatment.

The original article by Lisa Cornwell on The State website can be read here