Utah Autism Coalition official discusses proposed legislation

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah has a higher rate of autism spectrum disorders than any other state in the country, and in this legislative session lawmakers are considering legislation that would require insurers to cover autism spectrum disorders.

Christine Passey of the Utah Autism Coalition came to the FOX 13 News studio Friday to discuss autism in Utah and the proposed legislation. See the video above for her comments.

For more information about the Utah Autism Coalition, visit their website.


  • Anne Dachel

    It’s incredible that a disorder that affects one in every 47 children in Utah has gotten so little attention from lawmakers. Do insurance companies refuse to provide care for children who are blind and deaf in Utah? Why is there such discrimination if the unfortunate child has a diagnosis of autism?

    We’re talking about children who often can’t speak and who require constant care. Many have concomitant health problems like seizures and bowel disease.
    In the face of this, parents are left on their own to deal with an often devastating condition. Lawmakers in Utah need to realize that when we talk about autism, we’re talking about CHILDREN with autism. No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults–especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are easily recognized. If money isn’t spent on these disabled children NOW, the taxpayers of Utah will be paying for lifetime care cost when they’re adults.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

    • bepatienz

      “No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults”

      It’s interesting to see you yet again deny the existence of work that you have discussed on your web site–you know, the work that suggested that the prevalence of ASD among adults is comparable to the prevalence of ASD among children, the work in which the authors noted, “Our data suggest that the causes of autism appear to be temporally constant and that recent apparent rises in rates of diagnosis must therefore reflect better survey case finding rather than some new environmental toxin.”

      Why do you believe that adults with autism must be exactly like children with autism? Does your adult son’s behavior exactly replicate his behavior as a toddler?

      Perhaps you missed the recent systematic review of longitudinal studies of ASD in Clinical Psychology Review. The authors concluded that “autism-related symptoms and behaviours generally improved with age” and language and adaptive functioning, particularly in daily living skills but also in communication, tended to increase with time, while repetitive behaviors tended to decrease. [Clin Psychol Rev. 2014 Feb;34(1):73-86.]

  • Maurine Meleck

    This is just unreal. Thelegislature is considering a bill for insurance companies to cover autism?? Did they have a bill to consider covering children for cancer? It’s the same thing. The bias against autism, a man made disorder, is unbelievable. What’s more, even if they pass this insurance bill it will never cover all the child’s needs. It’s for ABA, speech therapy and won’t cover the biological aspect of the illness. Autism is not a mental disorder but a neurodevelopmental and metabolic disease that affects evry organ in the body. It’s an immune disorder and makes these kids vulnerable to all viruses, bacteria and parasites known to man. It’s outrageous how these children are treated–like they used to treat those with leprosy.
    What’s more-what has caused Utah to have the highest number with autism. Is anybody seeking answers or are they just fighting ov er costs in the legislature?
    Maurine Meleck, SC
    grandmother to 1 in 31(vaccine injured)

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