Raising awareness about autism

— It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that autism has risen to one in every 88 births in the United States.

In order to raise awareness about the programs and services available to families affected by autism, the New York State Senate has commemorated April 2013 as Autism Awareness Month.

I have long been a committed advocate for individuals and families living with autism. I successfully fought for the New York Autism Health Insurance Reform Law that now requires state-regulated health insurance policies to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of patients on the autism spectrum. This landmark law, which took effect last year, is one of the strongest autism insurance reforms in the Nation. It has opened the door for thousands of families to receive early intervention services, which are key to improving the treatment of autism. Some of these important services include behavioral health treatments, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

Furthermore, the law prohibits an insurance company from terminating coverage or refusing to issue, adjust, renew or execute a policy solely because a person has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

As your state senator, I will continue my fight to support individuals and families living with autism. Please feel free to call my district office at 428-7632 for more information on the law.

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