April 12: Governor Kasich signs Autism Mandate

Governor Kasich Signs Autism Bill

So thankful for everyone’s hard work in passing this bill which helps kids with autism get insurance benefits for treatment. The Parents and Professionals who testified, Autism Speaks, Autism Society, the Legislators who heard from the autism community for many years and community partners who signed a letter of support! Wonderful people doing the right thing! Governor Kasich said it best “It is the right thing to do!” Now comes the work to implement this bill to assure people get access to this benefit. I am ready to work!

Supreme Court Rules with Family on Service Dog Case Moving Forward

Supreme Court Sides With Family In Service Dog Case – Disability Scoop

WASHINGTON — Wonder the goldendoodle will get another shot in court.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals should reconsider whether Ehlena Fry and her family can sue a Michigan school district for its decision years ago to tell Ehlena, who has cerebral palsy, that she couldn’t bring her service dog to school.




Secretary of Education nominee confused, scares families across the US

The Trump Administration’s Secretary of Education nominee testifies that compliance with IDEA, a federal mandate that protects students with disabilities, is best left to the states. She seemed confused to know there were federal protections for children with disabilities. Link to Disability Scoop Article.

Marla’s note: This is very scary to families who were not receiving appropriate educational services for their children before IDEA’s federal protections came into existence. Families and students with disabilities still have barriers they fight against every day. We do not need to go backward. And we do not need each state spending time and taxpayer money reworking IDEA in their state. IDEA is working for all Americans in all states. 


UHC Covering ABA in all Plans in 2017

Starting in 2017, United Healthcare will make ABA coverage part of its standard benefits package. In other words, ABA will be a part of all fully-funded group plans, regardless of whether that plan was issued in a state that has passed an autism insurance mandate.

Marla’s Note: ABA or applied behavior analysis is the primary treatment modality for individuals with autism according to the CDC. Read more: CDC

Read more: Autism Speaks Article


Speech therapy benefit in the ACA could go away if Obamacare is repealed

6 Lesser-Known Obamacare Provisions That Could Evaporate  NPR Report Here

1. Calorie counts at restaurants and fast-food chains
2. Private breast-milk pumping space at work
3. Limits on surprise medical bills from ER visits
4.Community health support from nonprofit hospitals
5. A woman’s right to choose her OB-GYN                                                                                           6.Expanded therapy coverage for children with autism

“Advocates for children with autism and people with degenerative diseases argued that many insurance plans did not provide care their families needed. That’s because insurers would cover rehabilitation to help people regain functions they had lost, such as walking again after a stroke, but not care needed to either gain functions patients never had, such as speech therapy for a child who never learned how to talk, or to maintain a patient’s current level of function. The Affordable Care Act requires plans to offer coverage for such treatments, dubbed habilitative care, as part of the essential health benefits in plans sold to individuals and small groups.” NPR, see above link for full story



Ohio Passes Autism Insurance Reform

Ohio becomes the 45th state to have an autism insurance mandate. Governor Kasich signed the HB 483 bill last week. The mandate is for children up to ages 14 and offers access to behavioral intervention, speech and occupational therapies and clinical professional visits.  There will be upcoming trainings to support families.  I will keep you posted. Here is a link to the legislation. The section about autism insurance reform begins on line 1751.84.…/legislation-status…

The Start of Root Consulting

I am very excited to be starting a new business doing what I love: Helping others and helping people with autism. Being a parent of a child with autism and working in the field of autism advocacy and services over the past fifteen years is where I have gained my experiences. Please feel free to reach out to me and lets have a conversation.