Sen. Green applauds Gov. Snyders focus on autism

LANSING, Mich.―Sen. Mike Green today applauded Gov. Rick Snyder for addressing autism in his special message on the health and wellness of Michigan residents.

“Governor Snyder highlighted a real problem facing Michigan families and children,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Autism disorders are more commonly diagnosed in children than cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined, yet 15,000 kids with autism in our state struggle to get even basic medical treatment.”

Green introduced Senate Bill 414 in June 2011 to include coverage for the treatment of autism in Michigan health insurance plans. The legislation is part of a package of bills aimed at improving the early diagnosis and treatment of the entire range of autism spectrum disorders. Green has worked closely on the measures with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a bipartisan group of legislators and a coalition including business leaders and autism advocates.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Green said. “I applaud Governor Snyder for focusing on this issue. Providing early and proper treatment will improve the quality of life and independence of those diagnosed with autism and reduces their need for long-term services and full-time care, which are often funded by taxpayers.”

According to research, the appropriate treatment of autistic disorders results in 50 percent of patients recovering typical functionality. For diagnosed children, other states have demonstrated this reduces their need for K-12 special education services, potentially saving public schools an estimated $200,000 per child over the course of their academic career.

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