The Politics of Autism includes a discussion of major interest groups such as Autism Speaks.
ABA is the only empirically validated method to address behaviors and deficits commonly associated with an autism diagnosis. However, it’s intensive and thus expensive which makes insurance coverage of the service extremely important. (A third important feature of ACA was the expansion of Medicaid funding, but we can leave that for another day).
While concern is understandable, there are organizations that are fighting to protect access to these services, including Autism Society of America and Autism Speaks. Another such organization is the National Coalition for Access to Autism Services (NCASS). NCASS is one of the only groups focused specifically on protecting access to autism services.
NCAAS was founded by prominent leaders in the autism community - consisting of organizations like Autism Business Association, Autism Spectrum Therapies, Center for Autism and Related Disorders and Butterfly Effects. These leaders realize that providers of autism services need a voice in order to protect access to quality autism services for all families in need. While NCAAS membership is primarily comprised of providers, its mission is to ensure access to the services needed by the autism community.
It was important for these leaders to join forces rather than advocate in Washington on their own.
“This is an extremely fragmented market made up of many small providers which makes it hard for our voices to be heard on a national level. Many of the leaders in the industry felt it was important to join together and protect the community we serve by ensuring access to evidence-based treatment,” said Justin Funches, a vice president at Autism Spectrum Therapies. Justin explained that together, there is a better chance we will be able to protect these critical services.Another provider group is the Coalition of Autism Service Providers (CASP).
To learn more about NCAAS visit their website or to learn about one of their top leaders,Autism Spectrum Therapies, click here.