Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The proposal could reshape hiring at roughly 200,000 companies that generate $700 billion a year in contracts with the federal government. They include defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., aircraft maker Boeing Co. and firms across the health-care, construction and information-technology industries.
Under the Labor Department plan, most firms that contract or subcontract with the federal government would be asked to have disabled people make up 7% of their work force. While the department says it wouldn't be an explicit requirement, companies that don't hit the target could have their contracts canceled or could be barred from winning future contracts until they show they are trying to meet the target.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Chart-topper Gavin DeGraw, "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd and tennis legend Martina Navratilova tops of the cast of 12 celebrities who will will compete on "Dancing with the Stars" when the series kicks kicks off its new season March 19.
Also dancing will be a Super Bowl champion, a telenovela star, a Disney star and a music legend.
The competitors and their professional dance partners were announced Tuesday on "Good Morning America." The reality dance competition will air at 7 p.m. Mondays with the first results show and elimination airing at 8 p.m. March 27 on channel 8.
The class-action lawsuit, which is believed to be the first of its kind in any state, was filed on behalf of the Oregon chapter of the Cerebral Palsy Association and eight individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Reuters reported.
The workshops, sometimes referred to as “work-activity programs,” provide jobs to disabled people who perform basic unskilled duties like packaging or simple assembly tasks. The programs, which are funded by state and local agencies and nonprofit groups, compensate the workers at below the minimum wage, which is in accordance with U.S. labor standards for piecework.
People with mental illness are about four times more likely -- and people with intellectual impairments are about one-and-half times more likely to get abused than non-disabled adults. The researchers from Liverpool John Moores University in England analyzed existing data from 26 studies regarding adult abuse worldwide.
As to why adults with disabilities are more susceptible to such crimes, experts say that impaired communication is often to blame.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The main issue that arouse quite recently is that there are more and more people struggling with dental phobias and physical/developmental disabilities that require sedation during a dental visit.
There is a fierce debate among advocates and opponents of sedation dentistry regarding as to whether the dental professionals administering sedation do have a proper educational background and sufficient training in offering these procedures.
With the arrogance and self-congratulatory pretension that runs rampant in Hollywood – and in show business, in general – it’s always great to hear about someone doing something genuinely nice for others.
I’m referring here to Joey Travolta’s company, Inclusion Films, which functions as a “practical film workshop” for adults with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy.
Monday, February 27, 2012
|Music therapist Amy Kalas, provides|
music therapy at United Cerebral Palsy
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/24/2663893/music-therapy-soothes-patients.html#storylink=cpy
But suddenly the guitarist begins to sing Amazing Grace, and everything changes. Harrell, who had just struggled to mumble “hello,” starts to sing along. By the time the song has switched to T his Little Light of Mine, she is sitting upright and clapping in time.
Harrell is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and can communicate very little. But bi-monthly visits from Patricia Chaviano, her music therapist, breathe new life into her.
“It’s bringing her back from the dead and letting her sing,” Adderly said.
Music therapy is a growing field that shows promise at reaching people, such as autistic children or elders suffering from Alzheimer’s, who can’t otherwise be reached. Music therapists typically work with other health-care professionals to treat conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and dementia.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/24/2663893/music-therapy-soothes-patients.html#storylink=cpy
|No longer providing services|
|Lisa Jo Rudy and her son, Tom|
Rudy and her husband, Peter Cook, moved from a Philadelphia suburb to West Falmouth four and a half years ago with their son, Tom Cook and daughter, Sara, now a sixth-grader at the Morse Pond School.
As a preschooler, Tom was originally diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder later diagnosed as autism. He attended public school through grade four, when the couple decided to home school their son.
“We weren’t happy with the way public schools there approached special needs education,” she said. “My husband and I both have a museum education background and thought we had a pretty good handle on it.”
Rudy, a freelance writer and educational consultant, believes one of the biggest misconceptions about autism is the idea that all symptoms apply to anyone who has been diagnosed.
In the study, Yale investigators and their colleagues discover that parental training, in addition to medications, provides an improved approach for children with behavioral problems.
Creating private school vouchers for special education students—programs that are largely unchallenged in court, unlike other publicly financed tuition vouchers—can be the perfect way to clear a path for other students to get school options, according to school choice proponents.
With this approach, "there is more success legislatively," said Malcolm Glenn, a spokesman for the Washington-based American Federation for Children. The group advocates school choice, focusing its efforts on tuition vouchers and scholarship tax-credit programs.
Last November, a judge’s ruling in Potter v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan gave clearance to parents to sue the organization for rejecting Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as an insurable treatment, which Blue Cross deemed an “experimental” form of therapy.
The rejection of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s petition gives the go-ahead for two families to press forward with a class action suit, on behalf of all families denied therapy coverage by the organization.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The quiet old house begins to tremble from some distant commotion. Thumpings, bangings and a deep, vibrating moan are coming from another room and can mean only one thing. Charlotte Moore begins to clear away all breakable items in the kitchen with practised efficiency, like a stage hand changing a set. She swiftly replaces our ceramic lunch plates and glasses with a single place setting: a melamine plate of biscuits and a plastic beaker of orange juice. “Sam’s back,” she announces.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Growing up and dealing with several challenges, John Hall wants others to succeed, so he penned his story.
"When I wrote this book I had not really shared my story or the fact that I dealt with this with many people until I decided to write this book," he said. "Everyone was pretty shocked when they heard the story and even folks that are very aware of autism."
|Jim Calhoun and Reese|
But one item that remains in good times and bad is the blue puzzle piece he wears on the lapel of his suit jacket. The symbol for Autism Speaks, like the cause itself, remains close to his heart at all times.
"He has never taken it off," Jeff Calhoun said. "I can't tell you how many people who have mentioned it to me — parents, families touched by autism, who tell me how much it means to them. He is very passionate about it. Just by lending his name and reaching out to people, he has done more than we could ever ask."
|A caregiver feeds a patient at the|
Lanterman Developmental Center
But an investigation by California Watch has found that detectives and patrol officers at the state's five board-and-care institutions routinely fail to conduct basic police work even when patients die under mysterious circumstances.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/24/4287227/report-officials-fail-to-investigate.html#storylink=cpy
|David Cicarelli in his new home|
The movers were behind schedule, but the real delay to leave a Lincolnshire facility began years ago for Cicarelli, 38, who has developmental disabilities and had long been denied his request to live closer to his family in a community-based group home.
On Thursday, though, Cicarelli prepared to end his temporary stay at his parents' home and spend his first night at his new home in Wheeling — the result of a federal lawsuit settled with a landmark consent decree in June. Cicarelli was one of five plaintiffs in the civil rights case, filed against the state of Illinois in 2005 in an effort to bring the state into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
|Dr. Jason Wolff|
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Early brain development abnormalities in infants may predict risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), a new imaging study suggests.
Investigators assessed 92 infants considered to be at high risk for ASDs and found that those who showed "aberrant development of white matter pathways" starting at the age of 6 months were more likely to develop ASDs by the age of 2 years than those who did not have the early pathway problems.
"We saw less change in the strength of white matter connections, or brain wiring, across multiple pathways. In fact, 12 different pathways were significantly blunted in the children who went on to develop autism," lead investigator Jason J. Wolff, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told Medscape Medical News.
The proceeds will benefit Els’s dream of creating the Autism Center of Excellence, which the golfer’s foundation describes as “a $30 million first-of-its-kind project that will feature a state-of-the-art education and research facility as well as a global digital learning platform to families all over the world with children on the autism spectrum.”
The study, which is published in the scientific periodical The British Journal of Psychiatry shows that children of immigrant parents, particularly from countries of low human development, are disproportionately likely to develop autism with intellectual disability, a connection that appears to be related to the timing of migration rather than complications in childbirth. Children, whose mothers migrated just before or during pregnancy, ran the highest risk of all.
"We spent so much time being angry and feeling like we need to fight, fight, fight," said Laura Carr, a community organizer from Anne Arundel County. "It's a little strange to take a look at the budget and go, 'Wow.' It's not everything that we wanted, but it's so much better than what it was."
The iBudget Florida program will be implemented across the Panhandle and much of North Florida by April 1. Michael Hansen, director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, said Wednesday the new system may mean less money for caregivers of some people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities – but that funding will be tailored to the needs of each client.
That’s what the “I” in iBudget stands for – individual.
The moves won praise from advocates for the "developmentally disabled" — who suffer conditions ranging from severe intellectual disabilities to cerebral palsy and autism.
Under Christie's plan, about 16,000 disabled children would no longer receive services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities, which is part of the Department of Human Services. Instead, their care will be overseen by a new Division of Child Integrated System of Care Services within the Department of Children and Families.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The narrow ruling Wednesday is not a total loss for the parties challenging the Medicaid cuts. By a 5-4 vote, the court sent the case back to the federal appeals court in San Francisco to consider whether private parties or only the federal government can object to Medicaid reductions.
GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- David Andrews plays for his freshman basketball team at Germantown High School outside of Memphis.
|David Andrews with his team.|
“Down syndrome people come in wide spectrum of disability,” said Andrews’ father, Charles. “Some are talkers and some are walkers … David is clearly a walker.”
Autism Speaks, North America's leading autism science and advocacy organization, Wednesday released the Sleep Strategies for Children with Autism: A Parent's Guide and Treating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Tool Kit for Dental Professionals, both available for free download on Autism Speaks Tools You Can Use webpage.
Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep through the night, so sleep experts in Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and the companion Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) have addressed how to help improve sleep for children and teens affected by ASD.
|Pujols as an Angel|
"It uplifts the kids, but I think it uplifts Albert even more," said Todd Perry, the Pujols Family Foundation chief executive who researched those numbers. "It's amazing how good he plays when he's around these kids."
The oldest of his four children, Isabella, 14, has Down syndrome. She was a toddler when Pujols adopted her after marrying her mother, the former Deidre Corona, in 2000.
"From the moment he met her," Deidre has said, "she stole his heart."
Republican candidate Rick Santorum is making free screenings for birth defects part of his attack on President Barack Obama's health care law. Santorum charges that the law requiring insurers to cover the tests is a way to encourage more women to have abortions that will "cull the ranks of the disabled in our society."
Obama re-election campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith called Santorum's remarks "misinformed and dangerous." She said the tests help bring about safer deliveries for mothers and babies.
But despite these changes, the budget proposal represents more of a shift in dollars rather than any new investments.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
| Doug Fisler, left, holds the hand |
of his son, Glenn, during a trip to the
PEABODY, Mass. -- A Danvers mom who just wanted her autistic son to be able to do things the other kids can do, is learning that by speaking up, one person can evoke change.
It all started when Lea Irzyk wanted to sign up her autistic son for "Learn to Skate" group skating lessons at the James McVann-Louis O'Keefe Memorial Rink on Lowell Street in Peabody.
"We don't want to stick out -- we don't want to make Jack feel different from anybody else," Irzyk told FOX 25's Heather Hegedus.
Monday, February 20, 2012
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia will close its training centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the next 10 years, putting more than 1,000 individuals into community-based programs that already have lengthy waiting lists for their services.
Residents in state institutions will return to their communities and to a system of group homes and day programs by 2021 as part of an agreement between the state and the U.S. Department of Justice. The agreement ends legal action against the state started by department. The agreement will phase out four of five state institutions, which currently house about 1,000 residents total.
The state has agreed to provide funding for more than 4,000 additional people to be treated by community services agencies by 2021. But officials admit that will not cover all of the need. Thousands of people across the state have qualified for care in community programs but are receiving minimal treatment because no state funding is available.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Verona mother said she already knew there was something seriously wrong with her 2-year-old son, Matthew. When he spoke, he uttered a word or two. He seldom made eye contact or slept through the night. Until he was diagnosed with a milder form of autism known as "pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified," she didn’t know how to help him.
"I was very happy to have the diagnosis. I knew the monster I was dealing with. The diagnosis was like handing me the ticket to go forward," Blitz-Goldstein said.
A year from now, my six-year-old son will no longer have autism. But I have not discovered a miracle cure - nor do I feel like jumping for joy.
It is teachers who should be complaining the loudest. They will be the ones left to manage untreated children with less help from special needs staff because fewer children will be classified as special needs.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
|Kiefer Sutherland and David Mazouz|
Friday, February 17, 2012
Autism itself seems to be responsible for the problems children with the disorder have in developing motor skills such as running, throwing a ball and learning to write, according to a new study.
Previously, it wasn't clear whether these motor skill difficulties ran in families or were linked to autism, said the researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso from Bravo's hit show, "Top Chef" joined special ed students in a fun, food-oriented class developed by United Cerebral Palsy's UCPlay Project as part of an eight-week program to help disabled students gain communication and social skills for the adult phase of their lives.
"I love using food as a way to build bridges with kids," Lofaso said during the event. "When you use food as a way to communicate and connect, build memories and gain new skills, it's fantastic. Food is universal."
Hi, I’m Zack Kilmer, and I have Autism.
More specifically, I have PDD-NOS which stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. There are 3 major classifications on the Autism spectrum: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and PDD-NOS.
You can look up details if you want, but PDD-NOS is basically the name doctors stick on kids when they don’t meet all of the criteria of Aspergers or classic Autism, but still exhibit obvious deficiencies in social interaction, motor skills, and/or communication.
Those who know me are always shocked when I tell them. “I never would have guessed” is something I get a lot. This is understandable, as I’ve exceeded the wildest expectations of when I was young, and have become mostly normal at this point. You might just think I was a little awkward or quirky.
Autism may be detectable in infants as young as 6 months old, according to a study released Friday in the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggesting the condition has a stronger genetic and biological root.
The study, which tracked MRI images of 92 infants from 6 to 24 months, found that infants who went on to develop autism may have had brain abnormalities visible on MRI at 6 months of age, before the development of clinical symptoms.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Matthew Gibson is a 22-year-old with Severe Autism. He also has obsessive compulsive behavior and has shown signs of Tourette Syndrome. Everything seemed normal with him until he was suddenly diagnosed at two years old. Since then he's not been able to speak and needs 24-hour care.
"The older he gets the more frustrated he is that he can't talk, he's smarter than people realize, he's just trapped in his own body",said Matthew's Mother, Annie Gibson.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
"We just want the community to know that we're paying attention to what the issues are that they're faced with," said Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities deputy director Patricia Nobbie. "We want legislators to know that there's a community out there that's active and paying attention to what they're doing up here at the Capitol."
"The worst thing you can do is nothing," she said.
Grandin, who is autistic herself, is famous as an animal-behavior expert and as an advocate for people with autism.
An author and professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin spoke twice, to large audiences, in Chico State University's Bell Memorial Union Auditorium Wednesday morning. She also was to be the keynote speaker at the Butte County Farm Bureau's annual banquet Wednesday evening.
The levels of mercury in the urine of children with autism were no higher than urine mercury levels of children without the condition, the study from England found.
“Unfortunately, there is very poor understanding of overall medication use for kids with autism,” says Paul T. Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
As a step toward improving the situation, Shattuck and colleagues studied psychotropic medication use compared across individuals with an ASD, ADHD and both an ASD with ADHD.
They found that children and young adults with both an ASD and ADHD had the highest rates of medicine use (58.2 percent) followed by youths with ADHD-only (49 percent) and youths with ASD-only (34.3 percent).
|Dr. Allan LaReau in Michigan|
Medical associations don't recommend such patient bans, but the practice appears to be growing, according to vaccine researchers.
|Amelia Rivera with her mother, Chrissy,|
and brother Nathan.
In a statement released with the approval of the Riveras, the hospital expressed regret for how it had handled the situation.
Joe and Chrissy Rivera gained national attention in January when they said a hospital physician had recommended against such a transplant because of her mental disability.
|Beverly McIver, above, and her sister |
Renee are the subjects of an HBO
Wednesday was the fifth anniversary of the death of Jonathan Carey, an autistic child who was under state care and whose demise prompted an overhaul of the laws governing care of the disabled. The case also sparked ongoing changes at the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and the Commission on Quality of Care, which acts as a watchdog agency.
Carey’s father Michael Carey, along with several lawmakers took the occasion to highlight several measures they are pursuing to strengthen oversight of the disabled including removal of what they view as a gag order that is placed on records of disabled people.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
There's (a love) life beyond little boxes of Valentines and a sack full of red dye laden candy arriving from school with a child today. Many of our kids are growing into teens and adults. Some are already there. And that means teen and adult topics. Two of my girls are teenagers. One of them is very vocal about her crush on Taylor Lautner. We celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday.
|Halle Berry and her father|
What is it that made eyebrows raise? Well, apparently, in the majority of photos Nahla seems to be touching her mother's or father's face and feeling their features, much like an autistic child would do.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Winslet watched the tape. "To say I was moved sounds so very basic. I couldn't stop thinking about it," she says. "I was being asked, as an actress, to use my voice for children who have no voice." Winslet flew to England, where she was introduced to Ericsdottir, to record the narration. "I knew as soon as I met her that we would be friends. I also knew I couldn't just lend my voice to this documentary and go home."
|Inside the new autism center.|
Instead of accepting what was available, Abend decided to do something; he built the Comprehensive Autism Medical Assessment & Treatment Center, which opened recently in Warren.
|Hayoung Lim, a music therapist|
As an undergraduate, Lim was studying cello performance at the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, when a community service assignment that was part of the university’s sophomore curriculum placed her in a facility that cared for people with visual impairments and severe developmental delays.
Lim and her music peers were supposed to work in the kitchen, but when a sociology major asked to change roles because she was having difficulty coping with the severity of the boy with whom she was working, Lim volunteered to sit with the child.
“I went to a room and there was a 10-year-old boy with autism, and he was blind,” Lim said. “The teacher told me he could not do anything, but if you didn’t hold his hand, he would bang his head with his hand. He was physically fine but cognitively couldn’t do anything.”
Sunday, February 12, 2012
From Jo Ashline of The Orange County Register.
One month from today, my son Andrew will celebrate his 10th birthday.
He’ll have a bounce house, a giant cake, and plenty of friends on hand to help him blow out the candles and mark his first decade here on planet earth. And while I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that my baby is turning 10 (is it really possible?) there’s an even more frightening reality that keeps gnawing at me as I make party preparations: He’s halfway to 20, and less than halfway to becoming a man; a man with autism.
These patients, some of whom were not expected to survive into adulthood, are living longer because of medical advancements.
But that means they will be affected by a new Medicaid cost-cutting plan to transfer physically impaired adults into managed long-term care programs.
With chocolate hearts and annoying radio ads for pajama-grams (can’t think of a worse present) vying for our attention this week, it’s easy to forget about what love is really all about, and that all of us humans have a strong drive to find love, even when we might least expect it.
Friday, February 10, 2012
The effort to purchase two multi-bedroom apartments at 555 Lenox Ave. for $500,000 each is spearheaded by Community Options, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing housing and work for the developmentally disabled.
JEFFREY BROWN: And finally tonight: a love story that sheds light on how society deals with the disabled.
Judy Woodruff has our book conversation.
Rachel Simon has given a lot of thought to their lives, how the rest of society sees them, since her sister is intellectually impaired. She wrote a memoir in 2002 called "Riding the Bus With My Sister." Her most recent book is a novel, "The Story of Beautiful Girl." It's about the lives of two people who meet living in an institution, and it follows them for four decades.
Shortly thereafter, with other shoppers looking on, three mall security officer appeared on the scene to try and figure out what was going on. Before he knew it, the dad found himself in handcuffs and sitting in the back of a police car. After about 45 minutes of explaining and the cops getting nowhere by asking the boy what his father had done to hurt him, he is released.
That actually happened to Andrew Baumann, CEO of New YorkFamilies for Autistic Children, and his son, Anthony, who was diagnosed with autism at three and a half years of age. Baumann shared the story during a presentation he gave about the disability at York College on Monday, hosted by City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).
|Twins Skyler, left, and Drew Russert|
Looking at them now, on the football field or in their high school classes, it would be hard to tell the boys were diagnosed with autism when they were nearly 4. Drew had a moderate form of the disorder, while Skyler’s case was severe.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Autism. In recent years, the word has attracted considerable attention, often relating to children with autism. What about adolescents and adults who have been diagnosed with a condition on the autism spectrum, which includes Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, and Asperger’s Disorder? Can they be productive, successful employees?
Yes, and in fact they are often valuable and loyal employees if their strengths are recognized and they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills. Very often, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are honest, dedicated, and detail oriented. They may have a unique sense of humor, thrive on routine, are able to persevere on challenges, possess a creative perspective, and are often experts in their area of interest. On the right job, with the right support, people on the spectrum have the potential to be successful at work.
The Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on providing access to live theater, said Tuesday it plans to offer specially designed matinee showings of "Mary Poppins" on April 29 and "The Lion King" on Sept. 30.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Pat Levitt, director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute
“This research shows that physicians should take parents seriously when they report GI problems,” said Levitt, who was joined in the study by first author Philip Gorrindo, a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Doctors should be especially diligent in checking children who have major language problems and who have not been identified previously with GID because there’s a higher likelihood that they could have GI problems, and these children may be less able to report their physical distress.”
For the foundation started by the former Miami Dolphins quarterback in 1992 after his 2-year-old son Michael was diagnosed with autism, the first-of-its-kind college in Florida is a natural next step.
The Dan Marino Foundation Florida Vocational College would help those with developmental disabilities move into adulthood. Marino's own son, now 23, has himself finished college and works as a DJ, performing under the name DJ 1 Tre.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Four-year-old Christopher Gómez lined up a set of specialized word and animal cards, including one with the letter 'I' and a picture of an iguana under a camera to compose the sentence, "The iguana can eat."
Gov. Pat Quinn rang the bell in the fall when he announced the closure of seven state facilities, two of which care for people with developmentally disabilities, because of a lack of funds.
Quinn and lawmakers eventually found the cash to keep the facilities open, with a promise to review how to save the state money and improve care for patients.
Monday, February 6, 2012
An expert panel has taken a new crack at that question, proposing a redefinition of autism and related conditions for the manual used by U.S. mental health professionals. The plan has aroused fears that it may strip many people of a diagnosis and thus the insurance and government benefits that can go with it.
So far, it's not certain whether this would be the result. But until the consequences are known, it's premature for the American Psychiatric Association to change the autism diagnosis in the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
|Amie Giersdorf works with her son.|
Medical and educational experts agree their son, Andrew, 2, has mild autism, a disorder that most often hampers social skills and awareness.
Despite that expertise, no private insurers in Michigan cover autism therapies that many argue have been proved effective.