Monday, June 16, 2014

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.