New resource for autism peeps…. YAY!
The Autism Resource Partnership, a “one stop shop” for parents and professionals, is being created through a $450,000 grant from The Regence Foundation.
Spread over three years, it will enable the U. to provide information and training for families and professionals and develop a website with information on evidence-based treatments, local resources, including support groups and therapy options, and ways to get involved in local research projects, a state-wide network. The media asked me if this wasn’t what the ACU already does? I told them that there is no competition in autism, just collaboration and commitment. I am also sitting on this committee and I’m sure the ACU will link to this Partnership website.
“Anybody who is close to autism knows there are a lot more questions than there are answers,” he said, noting that his niece’s son has the disorder. “We want to start answering questions,” including what causes it and how best to treat it. (wow, that would be GREAT!!)
Considering 1 in 77 8-year-olds in Utah has autism, “it just screams out for an area of focus,” said Robert Hatch, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
Another question is whether insurance companies should cover autism behavior therapy. Attempts to mandate coverage in Utah were defeated in 2009 in part due to complaints by insurance companies. Hatch said his company covers medical treatments, including medication, psychiatric care and occupational and physical therapy. (Parents will be going after insurance reform again this year!)
Cheryl Smith, president of the Autism Council of Utah, said she is “thrilled” with any money that is available to help families who have children with autism. She expects to see more referrals to her group because of the efforts. “I’m excited to see health care step up and take a part in trying to find help for these families.” (That’s me…)
Heather May, SL Tribune