Autism advocates take to Statehouse; Medicaid reimbursement rates discussed

ANDERSON — The state of Indiana is looking at Medicaid reimbursement rates with potential modifications in mind. No decisions have been made.

Indiana ACT 4 Families coalition, an organization that seeks to protect access to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), along with Indiana Providers of Effective Autism Treatment, traveled to the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday to advocate against cuts in the reimbursement rates for ABA, according to a press release.

Christina Snider, a Goshen resident, participated in Wednesday’s events.

Snider’s 11-year-old son is severely autistic and in need of constant support, which is where Lighthouse Autism Center comes in. The center, she said, not only helps her son, but her as well.

Snyder said she could not work full-time if it weren’t for the all-day ABA therapy.

ABA involves helping autistic individuals learn necessary skills and reach specific goals, according to an article from Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to helping those with autism.

Decreased funding, she said, would exacerbate the already-existing staffing shortages these centers face. She said her son has had missed a week’s worth of therapy due to staffing issues.

As a special education teacher, Snider thought she could teach her son the skills he needs on her own, beginning with toilet training. However, after seven years of trying, she figured outside help was needed.

She entered her son into ABA therapy at age of 10 and therapists helped him become toilet trained. Now, he’s able to stay dry for hours at a time.

Snider highlighted this as one of the ways in which ABA has helped her son.

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