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Calls to Action

Government Relations

With school out of session we know that is often a challenge to keep your children busy with activity. Autism Speaks Beyond the Beltway is our new program initiative that encourages citizens to begin to build or improve relationships with their elected representatives in the United States Congress.  We know how difficult it can be for our families and advocates to pack up and head to Washington, DC. But you can help right where you live!

It’s summer, and most state legislatures have wound down for the year.  Not so with North Carolina, where my travels have taken me most weeks over the last couple of months.  Along with local autism organizations, Autism Speaks continues to push for passage of House Bill 498, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 105 to 7 last year.  We’re working every angle to see passage through the full legislature during this short session in North Carolina.

Lorri Unumb, vice president of state government affairs for Autism Speaks, travels the country advocating for families and individuals facing the challenges of autism. This is her ongoing series "On The Road For Autism Reform."

I’m writing from my backyard where I’ve been sitting in the warm South Carolina sunshine trying not to think about work on Memorial Day.  I am unsuccessful. The two subjects – work and Memorial Day – are inextricably intertwined for me. 

The implementation of autism insurance laws has been frustrated at times by demands that practitioners of applied behavior analysis (ABA) gain a state license before their services can qualify for reimbursement -- even in states that do not have licenses for behavior analysts. The Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center joined recently in a lawsuit that successfully overturned such a demand in California. Dan Unumb, executive director of the center, weighs in.