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Friday, February 5, 2016

Problems in Illinois and Ohio

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.

In Springfield, Illinois, Dean Olsen reports at the State Journal-Register:
Families of Illinois children with autism are reporting declines in their children’s communication skills and heightened anxiety after the ongoing lack of a state budget prompted drastic reductions in services statewide.
Springfield’s Autism Clinic at The Hope Institute for Children and Families has heard from parents who are seeing their children regress socially after losing services that were made more affordable to low-income families through a $4.3 million grant to Hope’s statewide Autism Program.
Hope hasn’t received any of that money because of a state budget impasse that began July 1, the first day of fiscal 2016, more than seven months ago.
“The parents we talk to are frustrated,” said Clint Paul, president and chief executive officer of Springfield-based Hope Institute. “They feel the state has turned their back on them and doesn’t care. If a child is not receiving services, there’s a very good likelihood that their child will regress.” 
Several Central Ohio families are still hurting after the Elijah Glen Center closed almost two months ago.

The center offered long-term treatment for 12 to 18-year-olds with moderate to severe autism.
There is hope of the center re-opening. Franklin County Residential Services is stepping in to find a more long-term solution.

However, parents are still facing the issue of finding the money themselves to pay for treatment.

The Public Children Services Association of Ohio wrote a letter to Senator Randy Gardner, the Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Multi-System Youth.

The stakeholders asked Senator Gardner to focus on decreasing or eliminating the need for custody relinquishment in order to access services.