Today, April 2, is the 5th Annual World Autism Awareness Day. According to the latest estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 88 American children are affected by this disease to one degree or another; boys are diagnosed at a higher rate of 1 in 54.
Over the past two years, the Virginia General Assembly passed two major pieces of legislation to help those who seek to find solutions to this ever increasing disease. The first, signed into law in 2011, requires insurance companies to provide autism diagnostic and treatment coverage for those children professionally-diagnosed with the disorder. The benefit covers children between the ages of two and six years as statistics show that children who receive early diagnosis and treatment for autism can lead normal lives.
Most recently, the 2012 Virginia General Assembly passed emergency legislation that gave the Virginia Board of Medicine the authority to provide regulations for licensing behavioral analysts. This emergency legislation is critical to providing children with autism and their families the resources and support they need.
For additional information regarding this disease, please visit, http://www.autismspeaks.org/