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Calls to Action

Budget impasse threatens services for those with autism in Illinois

February 08, 2016
According to a recent report by The State Journal-Register, Illinois families impacted by autism are already feeling the effects of a state budget impasse. Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly have been unable to approve a 2016 fiscal budget, resulting in lack or delay of services for individuals who need them the most.

Service providers across the state claim they will no longer offer subsidized fees for critical services. Some providers will be forced to reduce staff, and in some cases, will be forced to close. 

Without a budget moving into 2016, local services providers face difficulties in continuing to provide services for individuals with autism and their families. The lack of authorized funding has prevented he Autism Clinic at The Hope Institute for Children and Families, just one of the local service providers, from receiving its $4.3 million grant, 

Clint Paul, president and chief executive officer of Springfield-based Hope Institute said, “Even if the impasse is resolved and funding restored, it won’t be easy to undo the damage.” Some clinics run by Hope struggle to remain open with the help of private donations.

The impasse has also put delivery of critical services, such as early intervention, at risk. Early intervention services are critical to helping children with autism reach their fullest potential and could reduce the number of services they might need in the future. 

Paul added that children who do not receive critical services could regress and that parents and educators who once received instructional materials and training for working with autistic children will no longer receive them.

To learn more about how to take action in Illinois advocacy efforts, register for Autism Votes.