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Funding Autism Therapy in Utah

Shortage of Funds for Autism Therapy in Utah

Despite having been identified by the CDC as the state with the highest rate of autism.  Funding for autism therapy in Utah has been short.

With 1 out of 47 children in need of autism therapy in Utah progress in funding a treatment model is slow.

Autism disorders are higher for boys at one out of 32. There are reports to indicate that diagnosing autism in girls is more difficult.

It was reported at SLTrib.com by Julia Lyon that plans for a new autism treatment pilot were in jeopardy due to a lack of funding.

Autism Therapy Treatment Pilot Struggles for Funds

Despite assurances during the Legislative session that major insurance companies and a bank would donate $1 million toward a new autism treatment pilot, the state has not yet received any money.

That could halve one part of the program, set to begin this summer, at a time when a study of a small area in Utah indicated the state could have the highest autism rate in the nation.

Funding Autism Therapy in Utah
Autism therapy pilot program in Utah needs funding and private donations. Image by AMagill via Flickr

Some have suggested that the data and findings of the report from the CDC were not accurate. Only fourteen states were surveyed and only specific communities.
The findings in Utah were based on a community with around 2000 kids.

Does the lack of funding reflect on a lack of urgency?

“As of right now there is no money,” said Marc Babitz, director of the Division of Family Health and Preparedness at the Utah Department of Health. “I am not aware of one private donation.”

But Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, who sponsored the bill to create the pilot, says there is “no question” that money is on its way.

“We’ve been working with the entities this past week working out the details,” she said.

No one can deny the children of autism spectrum disorder need early intervention.
Children who receive treatment in their early developmental stages have shown to have a greater response to therapy.

Children whose therapy is delayed past the early developmental stages have proven to lead less productive lives. Or in other words they become more like couch potatoes.

Ignoring autism therapy in Utah would bring the consequence of increasing the need for social aide for the lifetime of the child. Don’t you think the greater tragedy would be the neglect of our duty to raise children?

In the jungle the responsibility is to teach the young how to survive. In our society it is our responsibility to educate the children to be self sufficient citizens.

How much should society cater to the needs of those with disorders? As much as necessary to achieve the goal.

You have to ask yourself why would insurance companies want to fund a treatment center for autistic children. Besides the obvious philanthropic reasons stated above?

Legislation for mandatory insurance coverage is gaining momentum in many states. Most insurance companies that do offer coverage do so for ages 2-6. After these ages treatment is much more difficult and expensive.

Of course it is in their best interest and the best interest of everyone to treat these children early. To funnel them into productive, fulfilling lives. In the long run is saves money for supporting adults who can’t take care of themselves.

There is a great need for diagnosing autism early in life. Getting a diagnosis of autism has proven to be very difficult for a number of reasons. However there are some promising programs for quicker diagnoses.

Please comment below and share with others in order to spread awareness of autism.

One Response to Funding Autism Therapy in Utah

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