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Saturday, September 14, 2013

ABA, Ohio, and Federal Action

The U.S. Department of Education told state officials in a letter last week that applied behavior analysis, also known as ABA therapy, must be made available to any child who is considered a good candidate to receive it.

“This is huge,” said Richard Ganulin, a Cincinnati lawyer who has fought for wider availability of the treatment. “The U.S. government has ordered the state of Ohio to fix what it’s been doing wrong.”

The order comes as state officials continue to fight in federal court with a Clermont County couple over whether federal law requires Ohio to provide the treatment, which some parents of autistic children believe is the most effective care available.

Holly and Robert Young sued the state last year after the Ohio Department of Health refused to provide ABA therapy for their son, Roman, through the state’s “Help Me Grow” program. They said their son, now 3, thrived in the therapy and regressed without it.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett ordered the treatment program reinstated for Roman until his third birthday, at which time his local school district assumed responsibility for providing it.
Autism Speaks reports:
The letter noted that "the department is monitoring the litigation in Ohio,"... The Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center has assisted the plaintiffs in the case.
Help Me Grow is Ohio’s birth-to-three program that provides state and federal funding to Ohio's 88 county Family and Children First Councils. The county agencies provide home visitation services for expectant parents, newborns, infants and toddlers up to age three who have or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities, as well as other populations. The program is administered by the state health department's Bureau of Early Intervention Services.