Ava’s Law, which state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, plans to file this week, would mandate insurance companies pay for expensive, intensive services for children diagnosed with autism.
Currently, insurance companies in Georgia won’t pay for specialized therapy, including Applied Behavior Analysis, for children with autism. Parents must either accept the diagnosis and rely on minimal special needs services from the public school system, or pay for therapy that can improve the child’s abilities at an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 per year.
Ava’s Law is named for Ava Bullard, an 8-year-old Lyons, Ga., girl whose mother, Anna, has crusaded for the insurance coverage since her daughter was diagnosed with autism.
Like Solares, Bullard was told to expect to place her child in special education classes when she sought answers for Ava’s distant, non-verbal behavior.
Instead, she paid for the Applied Behavior Analysis treatment for Ava and, like Arturo’s case, saw “dramatic improvement,” Bullard says in a video being used to promote the legislation.
Ava is now in regular third-grade classes, Bullard says.