Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NY Times: Studying Autism Isn't Enough

Op-Ed Contributor
Studying Autism Isn’t Enough

By CATHRYN GARLAND and MICHAEL O'HANLON
Published: November 21, 2006
Bethesda, Md.

"As parents of a child facing these challenges, we applaud those lawmakers and fellow parents who have done so much to promote this and other initiatives. But research is not enough. We as a nation must also begin to focus seriously on treating those children who are already afflicted. At present, we are failing miserably to do so.

In America, you have to be lucky or rich to get proper care for your young autistic child. Treatment regimens typically cost more than $50,000 annually for preschool children — one reason proven methods are available to perhaps only 10 percent of afflicted children during those crucial years. In a few states, like New Jersey, educational systems provide therapy to preschool kids, but resources vary from county to county. Here in Maryland, our 4-year-old daughter has received an hour or two of publicly provided help a week; studies show that ideally up to 40 hours of intensive intervention are required. A handful of states, including Maryland, have established a Medicaid autism waiver to allow parents of severely afflicted children to obtain relevant services independent of income. " Read Article

Phew. I've been screaming this very thing for years. We need to adequately support our current population of ASD children. It makes economic sense as well as human sense. I'm beyond happy to see this in print, let alone in the NY Times. I also like the fact that behavioral intervention is discussed. One of the key viable options for our children.

But I'm sure the internet tonight will be buzzing about. The biomedical factions bashing this fellow ASD family (and beautiful daugher)for their lack of mentioning other interventions. I take this personally. Will people ever realize that you can't fit everything in every article?? If only Autism were that simple.

Will people ever realize that ASD is a spectrum disorder, not soley caused by one thing or another? That the blend of ASD is different for each child. And in turn requires a unique blend of services?

I take joy in knowing phone calls will be made today about services because of this article. I can guarantee many children will have a better life because of it.

2 comments:

mcewen said...

Jolly good show! But.........

'In America, you have to be lucky or rich to get proper care for your young autistic child,'.....

I suspect that the rest of the world fares no better.
Cheers

Ashley loves Leo said...

You betcha. I'm very fortunate to have been a "stay-at-home" mom, left to focus soley on advocating for Leo. If I had to work, I wouldn't have been able to do as much as we did. I'm not a natural multi-tasker, as I suspect many other parents with ASD aren't either.