Parents rally for autism treatment bill

Tuesday, February 12th 2008, 5:48 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

Families rallied Tuesday at the state capitol in support of a bill that would require health insurance companies to cover autism therapies.

Senate Bill 1537, also called Nick's Law, has not been scheduled to be heard in committee yet. Parents like Eimile Hart visited their representatives to tell them about their situations.

Hart has 4-year-old twins who are autistic, Aidan and Sean.

"Our kids are sick kids," Hart said. "Recent research has come out saying that they have a physical illness. They have gastro intestinal problems, immunity problems, severe food allergies and such."

The Hart family has paid more than $86,000 out of pocket in the past 15 months to treat the spectrum disorder.

 "We have to see specialists," Hart said. "We have to get special labs done which aren't covered by insurance. I think we had $12,000 in labs that aren't covered."

Scott Martin (R-District 46) represents the district where the Harts live.

"If we can look into the eyes of the children and see what's going on here, I think we can get a better understanding and hopefully have a better appreciation for what not only the kids but also what the parents are having to go through," Martin said. "Maybe we can do something to help."

Autism affects one in 150 children, authorities said.