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Friday, February 22, 2013

WXIA Report on Autism Center

In the latest entry in its series on autism, WXIA reports on an early intervention program:

Across town at the headquarters for Autism Speaks, a small group of dedicated mothers brainstorm. They've heard the names of the lawmakers reportedly trying to kill the bill. Judith Ursitti handles state government affairs for Autism Speaks. She tries to assure everyone that this sort of battle is expected.
"Passing a piece of health care legislation is always hard. But it was hard in Texas. It was hard in South Carolina. It was hard in Arkansas. It was hard in Louisiana. It was hard in West Virginia."
For families without money, the only option left is the school system. And while schools can help a child, they can't replace the intensive therapies that lead to dramatic change, like in 8 year old Ava Bullard's case. She went from non verbal to high functioning after years of one-on-one specific treatment.
Developmental pediatrician Doctor Alan Weintraub says, "What the lay public doesn't understand is that those therapies are educationally based, they're not medically based, so the intensity--  they're not the same level."