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ND Families Push for Autism Insurance Reform
North Dakota is one of six states that do not mandate private insurance companies to cover Applied Behavior Analysis services to people with autism.
Families gathered in Minot on Tuesday to talk about a parent-led lobby to push for autism insurance reform.
(Beth Mauch/Parent) Unfortunately, when parents get the diagnosis, there's not a lot of places to turn."
(Becky Farr/KX News) Beth has a six-year-old son who is currently denied medical coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis services, or ABA.
(Mauch) "And so, it's personal for me."
(Farr) She's here in Minot to speak out for her son and children alike, who are prescribed ABA services by their doctors but are currently left without assistance by private insurers.
(Mauch) "I just really want the people of North Dakota to understand that this treatment is what's being prescribed nationwide, and that 44 other states have the coverage and North Dakota isn't one of them."
(Holly Johnson/Board Certified Behavior Analyst)"A big part of applied behavior analysis is also skill teaching so whether that's teaching a kid to get dressed, or to brush their teeth, or how to work independently in a vocational setting. It really teaches specific skills in a specific way that's not typical in schools."
(Farr) ABA therapy has largely helped Beth's son, but is very costly.
That's why she and many other families in North Dakota are fighting for the state to enact the Autism Insurance Reform.
(Johnson) "If this bill gets passed, it will be there to open up a whole new world of services to those kids with autism, their parents, the families that are searching for services, and knowing that applied behavior analysis is the most reputable service for kids with autism."
(Farr) Beth said without ABA services her son most likely wouldn't be able to sit in the classroom, speak, or behave in ways that those without autism might take for granted.
To learn more about the Autism Insurance Reform, click here.
For information about the Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference in Minot that runs Wednesday October 26 through Friday the 28, click here.