Today, following her feature in our “You’re Our Last Hope” radio ad campaign, the Indiana ACT for Families coalition is proud to feature Kim Regnier. Kim is a mother of a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), from Lafayette, Indiana.
Kim’s son was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. Following his diagnosis, she felt very alone, not knowing anyone who was going through similar challenges or who to turn to for support. She didn’t let this keep her down. Instead, Kim used it as her motivation to jump into “go mode” as she calls it. “We were very fortunate to have multiple options for ABA providers in our area,” she said. “We waited about six months to be accepted into his center, which thankfully is only moments from home.”
Through her son’s time receiving ABA therapy, Kim and her family have seen enormous progress going from being non-verbal to using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to communicate with friends and family members, alike. “ABA has helped point him in the right direction on how to go about acquiring skills needed to perform everyday tasks and has taught us the best ways to help him flourish,” she said. “Some days, we work on zipping up his jacket or putting on his socks and shoes, and these are all things that he otherwise couldn’t do before ABA therapy.”
Kim has also gained from ABA therapy learning tools and tricks that she can impart on her son at home, and is grateful for the time and dedication that his therapists devote to making sure that she is ready to help her son grow stronger. “Every day I’m astounded by their top-notch communication,” she said. “I’m constantly being filled in on the progress he’s making towards reaching his milestones, and any new programs he may have started each day.”
Kim, like thousands of other Hoosier families, is extremely worried about the potential loss of care associated with the Holcomb administration’s proposed Medicaid reimbursement rate cuts for ABA therapy. “These cuts would impact my son and my family in ways I cannot even begin to conceive,” she said. “They are seeing our kids as just a budgetary number, but that’s not what they are. They are our livelihoods.” The Holcomb administration and its Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP) should heed the pleas of families who rely on ABA therapy and work to establish a rate that ensures that centers can remain open, and families can still receive care.
Indiana ACT for Families is a broad coalition of Hoosier families, ABA therapists, ABA therapy providers, and stakeholders, including The Arc of Indiana and other advocacy groups, working to advocate in support of promoting access to high quality ABA therapy services in Indiana. For more information, please visit www.IndianaACT4Families.com.
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