Thursday, April 2, 2009

Federal Legislation and Autism Speaks Walk

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Please take a moment today to make legislators aware of our need for Autism Insurance Reform. President Obama drafted legislation before the election that would require health insurance coverage for autism treatments. Today, that legislation was introduced into the US Senate. I will be including a brief article below with more information about it. You can take action and contact your US legislators by going here to send your legislator an email asking for their support:

Also, below the article is an letter to you from your Autism Speaks Walk Chair - Tricia Nelson. Please support the Autism Speaks Walk by forming a team or joining a team. Autism Speaks is the main supporter of Autism Insurance Reform around the country. Funds raised at the walk help pay for the lobby efforts to gain insurance coverage for our children.

Happy Advocating!!!

Autism Treatment Acceleration Act of 2009 - Federal Autism Insurance Reform

In his Presidential campaign statement on Autism Spectrum Disorders, then-Senator Barack Obama committed to bringing autism insurance reform to our entire nation. His statement put forth that Obama and Biden "will mandate insurance coverage of autism treatment and will also continue to work with parents, physicians, providers, researchers, and schools to create opportunities and effective solutions for people with ASD." In an effort to put his words into action President Obama has asked Illinois Senate colleague Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), along with Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to introduce comprehensive autism legislation, including a section addressing broad based federal autism insurance reform. The legislation, entitled the “Autism Treatment Acceleration Act of 2009” (ATAA) contains a total of twelve sections, each putting forth a different program for autism. A key feature of the bill is Section 12, which contains the provisions for federal reform of autism insurance coverage. If passed, Section 12 will require all insurance companies across the country to provide coverage for evidence-based, medically-necessary autism treatments and therapies.The Autism Treatment Acceleration Act

Dear Parents,
As you may know, autism is a serious developmental disability that affects 1 in 133 children in Utah, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Autism is a spectrum disorder that can range from very mild to quite severe. If your child is diagnosed with autism, early intervention is critical to gain the maximum benefit from existing therapies.Autism Speaks is a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.
Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.Utah is participating in the 2nd annual Walk Now for Autism in Utah on May 2nd at Utah Valley University in Orem. Autism Speaks’ Walk Now for Autism, the nation’s largest grassroots autism walk program, is our signature fundraising and awareness event.Powered by volunteers and families with loved ones on the autism spectrum, this successful grassroots fundraising effort not only generates vital funds for autism research, but also raises awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism and the need for increased research funding to combat this complex disorder. Bring your family, friends and neighbors and join us for this family-friendly event! We will have activities for children, bounce houses, clowns, entertainment and much more. Sign up and create a team. Your team can not only raise vital funds for autism research, but gain much needed awareness in the community. Please feel free to contact me with any questions! Tricia Nelson or Becky Brady (801)224-5127
Walk Now for Autism – 2009 Chair School Outreach Chair