April is Autism Awareness Month, and with the recent and rapid increase in the rate of autism diagnosis (current estimates are that 1 in 68 children are affected by the disorder), we want to highlight some resources available for families, professionals, and community members. (Of course, Family Voices Colorado serves families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need, any condition lasting 12 months or longer that means a child requires more health care and related services than is typical at a given age.) Read the National Family Voices article on Autism Awareness Month, or the United Nations’ page on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2.
What is autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors…. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
~ From Autism Speaks website
Autism is sometimes classified a developmental disability, other times considered linked with mental health concerns. These diverging professional views can complicate health insurance claims if a given policy provides limited coverage for mental health or behavioral health treatment, but would cover a diagnosis that falls under the category of a “neurological condition” with a physical basis or origin.
If you have had difficulty getting access to or coverage for treatment (including ABA therapy) for your child with autism, please call Family Voices today, 303-733-3000 or 800-881-8272, to speak with one of our experienced Family Navigators. We can’t guarantee coverage, of course, but we can help you understand your options within whatever private or public health insurance plan you have.
More fact sheets & basic information about autism:
- A Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder, National Institute for Mental Health
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
- National Institutes of Health
- Autism Society of Colorado: resources for families with a recent diagnosis
- JFK Partners, providing evaluations, early intervention, treatment, and training related to autism spectrum and developmental disabilities
- Autism Society
- Autism Speaks
- Autism Research Institute
- Family Voices Colorado on Pinterest – we have boards on Working with Children with Special Needs, Hope & Inspiration, Real Families/True Stories, Infographics, and more!