Tuesday, June 05, 2007

South Carolinians Write to Governor About Ryan's Law

Dear Governor Sanford:

I am writing to ask for your support of the Autism Equity Act (“Ryan’s Law”).

With proper medical intervention, studies show that almost 50% of autistic children improve to such an extent that they can enter mainstream classrooms unassisted after a few years of treatment. The progress that we make in therapy, particularly at very young ages, is catalytic. Our patients metamorph from frustrated, nonverbal, disconnected children to empowered, interactive kids. They still have autism, but the symptoms are certainly mitigated, potential for learning is much higher, and the families have regained their “babies”, who often turn out to be bright, humorous, tax payers.

Routine and consistency are the critical elements of success. However, often our efforts are confounded by insurance limits, caps, and exclusions. Imagine the devastation of a diagnosis of autism, then discovering that your policy has a $500 lifetime cap on language therapy. One of my current patients is only covered for the first sixty days of each year. Another child cannot obtain coverage for less than $600 per month due to “pre-existing condition”.

The parents are virtually disenfranchised by their own health system. They typically spend vast amounts of time and money procuring therapy that we know is effective, and risk financial instability in their efforts. After paying premiums and deductibles, this burden is patently unfair.

Today is the day. Please: help the children in South Carolina.

Sincerely,

Sally Asquith, MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist

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