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Calls to Action


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.

This post appears in this month's issue of Exceptional Parent Magazine and highlights the work of military spouses Karen Driscoll (Marines), Rachel Kenyon (pictured below, Connecticut Army National Guard), Jeremy Hilton (USAF) and others to improve TRICARE coverage for milutary kids. The result was action by Congress to create a one-year pilot program that is now being closely monitored by Autism Speaks.

by Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Counsel and Advisor

As national health care moves closer to its 2014 launch date, Autism Speaks grows increasingly concerned that the federal government will not require universal coverage for autism benefits as directed by Congress, but instead will leave it up to each state. In its latest guidance to the states, issued just prior to Thanksgiving, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that could exclude access to behavioral health treatment in up to 21 states.

by Blair Hughes and Karen Driscoll. Hughes is the wife and full-time caregiver of a Wounded Warrior and mother to three children, one with autism; she serves as a Caregiver Fellow with The Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Driscoll, Autism Speaks' associate director of federal government affairs and military relations, is a Marine Corps wife and mother of three children, one with autism.