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Dachel Media Update: MN Insurance, DSM-5, Latino Campaign

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

May 21, 2013, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Autism insurance mandate wins in Minnesota

May 21, 2013, Fox News: The DSM-5 is here: What the controversial new changes mean for mental health care

May 21, 2013, NBC Latino: Autism Speaks launches new campaign to reach Latino, black parents

May 21, 2013, KPLC 7 Lake Charles, LA Housing needed for adults with autism

May 21, 2013, New York Times: Aiming Autism Ads at Hispanic and African-American Parents 


Minneapolis Star Tribune

"In practice, the mandate will apply only to a fraction of Minnesota employers - those with 50 or more employees in state-regulated health plans.

"The mandate would cover 750,000 Minnesotans, or about 14 percent of the state population, according to state estimates. But it does not apply to the vast majority of large employers, which are self-insured and exempt from state insurance regulation. ... "

There isn't a lot to celebrate here.

Fox News

"Over the past decade, the United States has seen a striking increase in the amount of autism diagnoses, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that one in 88 children suffers from an autism spectrum disorder. According to Kolvezon, numerous epidemiological studies have found that the majority of children accounting for this incidence are those with PDD-NOS - a diagnosis given to those with communication issues and pattern behavior but who do not meet the full criteria for autism or another pervasive developmental disorder.

"Kolevzon said it's possible that over-diagnosis of PDD-NOS has led to this increase in autism spectrum disorder cases."

This trivializes what's been done to our children and covers up the real cause.  No comment section is provided.
NBC Latino

"Jesse Mojica didn't know what autism was 13 years ago, all he knew is that his precious son Adam, at 18 months, had stopped saying words and his beautiful smile had disappeared. The sparkle in his eyes was gone, he says, replaced by a blank stare to nowhere."

Jesse Mojica's son stopped talking at 18 months. WHY? That's just the way it is with autism? Tough luck if it's your child.

This campaign is "Maybe"...maybe it's your child---or the kid next door, down the street. ...this merely teaches parents that autism is a fact of life.

It's all about surrender.
KPLC 7 Lake Charles, LA

As children with autism grow into adults, their parents strive to help them live as independently as possible. But housing to meet the needs of adults with autism is in short supply.

"Brendan O'Reilly is home from school and tending to chores such as bringing back the empty trash can at his grandmother's house in Carlyss. Brendan has autism and often sees things and hears things differently from most others. He likes to make people laugh....

"Right now, there are two homes available for adults with autism in Lake Charles. Darcy said more are needed to help Brendan and others."

This is a nice human interest story. There's nothing about the big picture. This boy seems capable of doing a lot of things.

Lake Charles La has a population of over 70,000 people. There are two group homes for autistic adults right now in Lake Charles. With two percent of children currently diagnosed with autism, they'd better get building. And of course, no one will ask why Brendan O'Reilly can't go where autistic adults have always gone in Lake Charles.
New York Times
"AUTISM Speaks, the autism and science advocacy organization, this week is introducing a new public service advertising campaign aimed at Hispanic and African-American parents. ...
"Dr. Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of Autism Speaks, said the increase in autism diagnoses was partly because of a broadening of the definition of the disorder. She also said environmental risk factors probably affected the increase. ...

"TV ads, made in 15- and 30-second versions, show parents and infants. In all cases, the parents offer a variety of excuses for the child's behavior, like 'maybe he's not a smiler' or 'maybe he needs more stimulation.' All spots end with the voice-over saying, 'Maybe is all you need to find out more about autism.'

"Besides advertising, Autism Speaks will also work with clergy, local community groups, volunteer clinicians and federal and state partners to spread the message to African-American and Hispanic parents. The group also will use text-messaging to encourage parents to learn the signs of autism. ...
"Dr. Patricia Manning-Courtney, director of the Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said the advertising was the first she had seen "with information presented in such a direct manner. It hits home a lot harder for parents who may have these questions in their mind." Autism Speaks helps finance the center's research.

"She expressed concern, however, about the medical system's ability to handle additional queries about autism by parents, since she said it was already 'over-demanded and undersupplied.'"
The message from Autism Speaks is, autism is a given; your job as a parent is to learn the signs.
Enlarge the photo. See the word "MAYBE" over the head of the child. How can they call this advocacy? This is surrendering to something whose cause they refuse to address.

It's a message of helplessness. Pity those parents in the background. There's nothing they could have done to prevent this. There's nothing they can do to stop it if autism has struck their child like a million other kids out there.
Geraldine Dawson is included saying that the definition was broadened and that "environmental risk factors PROBABLY affected the increase." Dawson, of course, never bothers to elaborate on just what those factors might be.
The most telling comment was from Dr. Patricia Manning-Courtney at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. She likes the Autism Speaks ads but she's worried because the system dealing with questions about autism is already 'over-demanded and undersupplied.'
(Autism Speaks really doesn't care about that aspect.)
As we know, Autism Speaks funded the study that found one in every 38 children with autism in South Korea. They've shown no real alarm over the latest U.S. rate of one in every 50 children with autism. I guess their awareness campaign is working! We're finding autism everywhere! (And, because this is the NY Times, there is no comment section.)


Eric Larsson

The large insurance coverage was only one part of the law. Actually, up until this year, 100% of children in Minnesota could already get coverage. But then a perfect storm of cuts were put in place. One major private insurance plan dropped coverage, the state employee plan dropped coverage, the Medicaid program began reforming its coverage, and the high-risk pool was slated to disband. So this law addressed all of those problems. It restored some private health coverage; it restored the state employee coverage; it created a new Medicaid program to replace the old one, and it put in place a planning process to extend the high-risk pool. So once again all children in Minnesota are ensured of coverage for the treatment that they need. The main challenge now is that there aren't enough providers who have the training and experience to serve all children.

IAngus Files

One in six but what percentage are in denial ..the truth is its an epidemic of Autism everywhere in the world ..


John Stone

OK Ken, so it's only 1 in 60. No big deal, eh?


"...the latest U.S. rate of one in every 50 children with autism."

It's not a "rate."

Of the respondents who answered yes to the question "Was your child ever diagnosed with an ASD", one in six said the child does not currently have an autism diagnosis. So the 1:50 number is incorrect.

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