Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Autism CARES passes House, coming up in the Senate

Less than 24 hours after being approved by the House, legislation renewing the federal government's funding response to autism for another five years cleared Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.  It heads now to the Senate floor.

Read more here and please get involved by talking to your Senator.  Here is a really easy way to do it.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Survey Response: Chrystal Butterfield, House 38 primary candidate

Candidates for the June 24th 2014 primary elections were given the opportunity to respond to 3 questions relating to autism.  The following responses are from Chrystal Butterfield, running for Utah House District 38.


1)  Insurance Coverage:  SB57 was passed in the 2014 legislative session.  It goes into effect on January 1, 2016, and among other things, will require individual and large group plans to cover a limited amount of behavioral therapy for autistic children through age 9.  The bill has a sunset clause which will cause it to expire on January 1, 2019.  
Would you support renewal or expansion of SB57 if the costs prove to be manageable?

Chrystal Butterfield:


I most definitely would support Renewal of SB57 before it expires!!

2)  Wandering:  Wandering (or elopement) is an issue that affects around half of children with ASD, as well as many people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  There are substantial costs involved with search efforts that often require emergency personnel.  There are also promising technologies, such as smartphones, GPS, and Bluetooth, which can help with tracking these individuals.  

Would you support efforts to:
  • better understand the extent of the wandering problem in Utah
  • promote training for emergency personnel 
  • identify technological solutions and help make them affordable for caregivers
Chrystal Butterfield:

There is nothing more stressful for a parent than a lost or missing child except one that may have a underlying disability and may not be able to communicate or understand the significance of danger. I as a parent and also as a volunteer that has gone out on many searches for missing and lost children would love to see more training,technology and a better way to keep our children safe. 

3) Housing and Employment:  When autistic people transition out of the public school system, many of them need help with housing and employment.  According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, over 5,000 Utahns received services, and 80% of them had an intellectual disability.  Another 1,892 Utahns are on the waiting list.
Would you support steps to improve housing and employment opportunities for individuals with autism?
Chrystal Butterfield:


Lets face it we as a parent are not going to be around forever it is something that we don't like to think about.
I know that there are some great programs out there that will help with Adult Transition but we can do better. We really need to educate our kids and prepare them for the adult world . With better education and programs and housing programs that are geared for self sufficiency We will have a more successful future.

Survey Response: Dr. Ray Ward, House 19 primary candidate

Candidates for the June 24th 2014 primary elections were given the opportunity to respond to 3 questions relating to autism.  The following responses are from Ray Ward, running for Utah House District 19.


1)  Insurance Coverage:  SB57 was passed in the 2014 legislative session.  It goes into effect on January 1, 2016, and among other things, will require individual and large group plans to cover a limited amount of behavioral therapy for autistic children through age 9.  The bill has a sunset clause which will cause it to expire on January 1, 2019.  
Would you support renewal or expansion of SB57 if the costs prove to be manageable?

Ray Ward:


Yes.

2)  Wandering:  Wandering (or elopement) is an issue that affects around half of children with ASD, as well as many people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  There are substantial costs involved with search efforts that often require emergency personnel.  There are also promising technologies, such as smartphones, GPS, and Bluetooth, which can help with tracking these individuals.  

Would you support efforts to:
  • better understand the extent of the wandering problem in Utah
  • promote training for emergency personnel 
  • identify technological solutions and help make them affordable for caregivers
Ray Ward:


Yes.

3) Housing and Employment:  When autistic people transition out of the public school system, many of them need help with housing and employment.  According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, over 5,000 Utahns received services, and 80% of them had an intellectual disability.  Another 1,892 Utahns are on the waiting list.
Would you support steps to improve housing and employment opportunities for individuals with autism?
Ray Ward:
Probably, but I would need to understand better what the current rules are and what it is about them that makes them not work for those whose disabilities stem from Autism before having a clear opinion.

Survey Response: George Chapman, Senate 2 primary candidate

Candidates for the June 24th 2014 primary elections were given the opportunity to respond to 3 questions relating to autism.  The following responses are from George Chapman, running for Utah Senate District 2:

1)  Insurance Coverage:  SB57 was passed in the 2014 legislative session.  It goes into effect on January 1, 2016, and among other things, will require individual and large group plans to cover a limited amount of behavioral therapy for autistic children through age 9.  The bill has a sunset clause which will cause it to expire on January 1, 2019.  
Would you support renewal or expansion of SB57 if the costs prove to be manageable?

George Chapman:

I support/ed Sen Shiozawa's bill to add insurance coverage for autism. I/we put one of our children in an autism kindergarten class (she is not autistic but they needed to start mainstreaming and she is empathetic enough to handle it). She later became a teacher teaching autistic children.
2)  Wandering:  Wandering (or elopement) is an issue that affects around half of children with ASD, as well as many people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  There are substantial costs involved with search efforts that often require emergency personnel.  There are also promising technologies, such as smartphones, GPS, and Bluetooth, which can help with tracking these individuals.  
 Would you support efforts to:
  • better understand the extent of the wandering problem in Utah
  • promote training for emergency personnel 
  • identify technological solutions and help make them affordable for caregivers
George Chapman:

Wandering should not be a problem with cellphone and watch band locators. Maybe a charity that offers such a solution. When my father and mother had that issue, we used cellphones to keep an eye on them.
3) Housing and Employment:  When autistic people transition out of the public school system, many of them need help with housing and employment.  According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, over 5,000 Utahns received services, and 80% of them had an intellectual disability.  Another 1,892 Utahns are on the waiting list.
Would you support steps to improve housing and employment opportunities for individuals with autism?
George Chapman:
I would support steps to improve housing and employment opportunities.
In short, I will look to Sen. Shiozawa for direction on these issues.  I agree with his opinions.  I do believe that cost to society can be significantly decreased with proper and effective education at an early age.  My daughter's teaching experience proves it.

You can Google chapman4senate2 to see more of my opinions and issues.