Monday, February 13, 2006

Movement on the Autism Bill

On February 16th, the working group established by Senator Thomas will meet to discuss the autism bill. We also expect a hearing on the House side within a few weeks. Things are moving along nicely, so be ready for a quick call to the State House!

We have begun a letter writing campaign, writing thank you notes to those legislators who have already agreed to sponsor the bill, and writing letters to ask for support to the other legislators who have not yet signed on. Anyone in this state -- you, your friends, your family -- can writing to any legislator on this issue. Here's an example of a letter that I got copied on earlier today:

Dear Representative Haley,

I just wanted to thank you for co-sponsoring the Autism bill. Your
support of this bill shows responsible leadership. By voting to require
insurance companies to cover treatment for this medical condition, many
more children in South Carolina will be able to receive ABA therapy and
move into the mainstream of society rather than ultimately becoming
costly wards of the state.

A friend's four year old autistic son is doing so much better as a
result of ABA therapy. A year ago, he was inattentive and seemed in a
world of his own. I recently had lunch with the two of them and he was a
different child - watching a Baby Einstein movie on a portable DVD -
laughing, repeating the words, making the appropriate animal noises, and
eating a variety of foods. (Last year he resisted eating anything but
chips.) The difference is truly amazing. Because of this therapy, it is
anticipated that his autism will be undetectable by the time he starts
school.

Rather than casting these children aside because of expensive medical
treatment that many parents cannot afford, you are making a difference
to enable them to eventually become productive citizens.

Thank you again for your most valued support and your visionary
leadership.

Sincerely,
Bankie Shealy

From: NIKKI HALEY [mailto:HALEYN@SCHOUSE.ORG]
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2006 12:59 PM
To: Shealy, Bankie
Subject: Re: Thanks for your support

Bankie,
It has been my pleasure to support and sponsor this legislation. So manyfamilies will get the benefits and help that they need. If I can helpyou or your family in any other way please don't hesitate to contact me.
With warm regards,
Nikki

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