All of us at Autism Speaks are profoundly saddened at the passing of Christopher P. Maurer, a young man with autism from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Christopher was the nephew of Pennsylvania State Representative Dennis O'Brien, a longtime autism advocate and friend of Autism Speaks. Chris inspired his “Uncle Denny” to become a champion in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for all families with a child affected by autism. As former Speaker of the House, Rep. O'Brien was the prime sponsor of the autism insurance reform bill that passed the legislature in 2008. Act 62 now requires insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism, allowing children with autism to have access to the care they need, and putting Pennsylvania at the forefront of states that provide care for individuals with autism.
We extend our deepest sympathies to the Maurer family, Representative O'Brien and his family.