Skip navigation

Calls to Action

autism insurance reform

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.

Jennifer Sheridan, or "Mom to Charlie," is our grassroots advocacy chair for Tennessee and helping to lead the fight in the Legislature for insurance coverage for medically necessary autism treatments. She explains why she is working so hard to bring help to families, even though her own family would not benefit.

Jasper Hood is the son of Quess Hood, a special education teacher from Ripley, Mississippi, who has led the charge for better autism insurance coverage in his state legislature. In this blog, he urges Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Senator Videt Carmichael to finish the job this year in the state Senate, by moving a bill passed 120-0 by the House.

Andrea Griggs of Murray, Utah is the mother of four children including two sons with autism. Even though Utah has the highest prevalence of autism in the nation (1 in 47), it remains one of only 16 states yet to require health insurers to cover autism therapies. Learn what that has meant for the Griggs family:

As Charlie Daniels would say, “The South’s Gonna Do It Again.”  Notwithstanding that my own home state of South Carolina was an early leader in autism insurance reform, several Southern states are still lacking insurance coverage for autism treatments.  As such, the Autism Speaks Advocacy Team has hit the road down south!  We’re working in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi as well as a handful of other states scattered around the country. 

Michelle Todd is President of the University of Minnesota Autism Speaks U chapter and has a 17-year-old brother on the autism spectrum. Last spring, she participated in a webinar covering Autism Speaks’ mission, including Advocacy.  During the webinar, she discovered the Advocacy department was offering summer internships and that Shelley Hendrix, the director of Grassroots Development, lives in Baton Rouge, LA where she was headed. She applied immediately for the position.