Legislative efforts are under way to change the North Carolina statute that creates an artificial barrier to treatment for children with Autism.
Creative Legislative Solutions is working to affect changes in the North Carolina Administrative Code to allow for the practice of Behavior Analysis and therapy by persons certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA).
The change would remove an artificial barrier currently in the state statutes that prevents children with Autism from receiving the treatment they so desperately need.
“At present, there is a barrier in place dramatically limiting the number of providers of Autism treatment which lengthens the waiting list for children in need of treatment.”
Treatment Delayed is Treatment Denied
Jim Lantry, Creative Legislative Solutions’ founder and principal and a national advocate for people with developmental disabilities including those with an Autism spectrum disorder, explains, “Sadly, in cases of children afflicted with this disorder, treatment delayed is treatment denied – as their brains develop, the lack of treatment translates into precious lost opportunity.
The sad fact is that as things stand, these children who have no time to wait are forced to endure years on a waiting list because of a lack of dually licensed professionals.”
20 Therapists Licensed to Serve 9,000+ Kids
“According to the State of North Carolina report to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, there were 9,746 children between the ages of 3-21 with Autism in 2008-2009 who received special education services. And, based on our calculations, there are only about 20 therapists with the dual licensing that the State requires to administer ABA therapy.
In a word, we have a problem,” says Charlotte Fudge, Executive Director of Butterfly Effects, a leading Autism treatment provider in North Carolina. “The proposed exemption would be a huge win for thousands of kids and for their families,” Fudge concludes.
Significant Impact on Military Families
The obstacle to treatment was brought to Lantry’s attention by a group of North Carolina parents of children with Autism, particularly military families stationed in the state, and by their treatment providers.
It is estimated that 1 in 88 military children have a diagnosis on the Autism spectrum. Recognizing the tremendous responsibilities military families shoulder today and the extraordinary circumstances faced by military families impacted by Autism, Lantry was instrumental in getting Assembly Joint Resolution 46 through the California Legislature calling on the Department of Defense and Congress to address the treatment needs of military children with Autism.
“Access to timely services is extremely problematic for the mobile military family,” explains Donna Anders, a Marine wife stationed at Camp Lejeune and mother of a son with Autism. “The assurance of family care is critical to mission readiness, but more importantly, access to recommended services is essential for the health and well being of the child and military family.”
You may write your personal letter of support for HB487!
Click on the link below and tell The Honorable Pat Hurley, Chairperson of the Health and Human Services Sub-Committee on Mental Health, that broad access to Autism treatment is critically important!
Be sure to include the following details:
- Your full name and North Carolina address
- Why you care about Autism, Autism treatment and accessibility to treatment (e.g. your son or daughter has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder, you are a treatment provider, etc.)
- How you/your family and/or your life have been impacted by Autism – share something personal
- Why it is important to you that all children have access to treatment in a timely fashion
- If you are a parent: talk about your specific child and how your child needs access to ABA services.
- If you are a treatment provider: talk about the children you treat and the plight of their families.
- If you are a military family: talk about the particular hardships you face in getting the treatment you need for your children in North Carolina.
- Most importantly, make the letter personal, heartfelt and urgent!
Please send your letter of support today and encourage others to do the same!
Click HERE to copy email address. Send a letter of support NOW!