Friday, January 12, 2007

A Very Small Step Forward for Autism Services in Arizona

In an opinion article published this week in the Tuscon Citizen, Robert Meza, a Democratic state representative from Phoenix, comes right out and says "The inability to find quality treatment for children with autism is the norm in Arizona-- not the exception."

Meza goes onto to recount his experience following along with the mother of a young daughter in the search for quality autism services. He writes:

She soon learned that the local autism organizations that offer ABA provide therapists with only a few hours of training, no curriculum and minimal supervision. These well-intended individuals are being sent into families' homes-- into situations for which they are unprepared. And all the while, the parents, having read all of the research, hold out for miracles.

Reading this op-ed article with the headline "New hope in cards for families living with autism" (you can find it online here) one might expect that there's big change afoot in Phoenix. But that's not exactly the case. The reason for hope is a "small pilot program" to provide applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services at a facility run by the Center for Autism Related Disorders, which started at the University of California at Los Angeles and now runs facilities in several states.

Meza deserves credit for highlighting this program. Let's hope there's more where it came from.

1 comment:

Maddy said...

I think it's a shame that for us and many like us, the situation is exactly as you describe - diagnoses received, parent researches, identifies who needs what, no resources available / waiting list / expense = huge gap between expectations and solutions.