Monday, March 2, 2009

DC Lagging in Autism Action?

Last week the U.S. Senate passed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009, raising hope once again for DC residents who long for a voice of their own in the U.S. Congress. It's no surprise that residents want the same rights and representation as people who live in the 50 states. So I thought it was interesting timing when I heard from a Special Needs 08 reader who asked, "What's DC doing with autism legislation?"

As a lifelong DC-area resident (I've been a DC, Maryland, and Virginia resident), I've seen that it's easy for people in our area to get involved in national policy without engaging in their own local politics. In the past month, both Virginia and Maryland have considered legislation to mandate insurance coverage for autism. Virginia said no; Maryland is still thinking.

Which brings me to the reader's question: What IS DC doing in this area? My first stop was autismvotes.org, and on the national map, even though DC is there, clicking on it takes you to Maryland. Then I found this summary from the Autism Society. Like other states, DC covers occupational health, speech therapy, and physical therapy -- but not treatment like Applied Behavioral Analysis. DC has no task force on autism. And there is no pending legislation related to autism. Am I missing something? Can anyone from DC enlighten me on any developments parents should know about?
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