Today is World Autism Awareness day.

April is National Autism Awareness Month in the United States.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a statement on this topic.  The statement included a definition of Autism and the limitations associated with the various forms of autism.

Secretary Sebelius noted in her statement that the Affordable Care Act will prevent insurers from declining coverage for people with autism based on a pre-existing condition.  Also, health insurance plans must now cover for autism screening of children between 18 and 24 months with no out-of-pocket costs to the parents.

Autism is generally seen as a spectrum.  People with autism exhibit various symptoms and have varying difficulties adapting to various situations.

Children with autism can qualify to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  They usually need accommodations and adaptations in the classroom in order to be included in a regular classroom setting.  Equipment such as electronic devices and “squishy toys” can be provided by a school system for a child with Autism.

There are various services for families with Autism.   There is a Durham chapter of the Autism Society.  Also, several agencies provide respite for families with children with disabilities.  This is an important and needed service.  It can be exhausting caring for a special needs child 24/7.  Giving the parent(s) time away is priceless.