It looks like progress is being made on getting treatments such as ABA covered by insurance. Disability Scoop is reporting that states are finally starting to include coverage of treatments like Applied Behavior Analysis for children with autism under Medicaid. This means that states must cover services consistent with the categories defined by Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment services (EPSDT). This includes Applied Behavior Analysis, speech and occupational therapies, and other personal care services.
This petition sponsored by the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association,
NY Physical Therapy Association, and NYS Occupational Therapy Association is trying to change Early Intervention laws in the state. According to the petition on change.org, as of April, 2013, NYS made significant administrative changes to the Early Intervention Program (a program for special needs children from birth to 3 yrs of age) making it extremely difficult for children born with developmental delays to continue to receive much-needed therapies that can compensate for their issues, allowing them to thrive and grow to their full potential. You can sign your name to the petition here.
Research has proven that the potential for change in a child’s nervous system within the first three years of life is greater than at any other time in development. Many developmental issues can be resolved with early therapy, resulting in children entering kindergarten with minimal or no need for extra support and eventually becoming contributing members of our adult workforce. Research has also proven that for every $1 spent on early intervention, $7 to $17 is saved in the future!
Passing proposed legislation, S6002/A8316, will assure that infants and toddlers with developmental issues continue to receive critical services from experienced providers in a timely manner. Specially trained pediatric speech-language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, and special educators will be able to provide services free from the administrative chaos that is currently crippling the Early Intervention Program and forcing providers to leave. Half (49.5%) of the 96 surveyed agencies indicated that they are planning to reduce or close their EI programs.
Sign your name and ask that NY state Senators, Assembly Members and the Governor do what’s right for children by voting YES to pass bills S6002/A8316 without delay!