Saturday, September 20, 2008

Autism Reality in Oklahoma

There are some who believe, contrary to common sense, that one should find joy in neurological disorders like autism. Some of these advocates of neuro-nonsense also argue that there are no differences in functioning levels for persons with autism spectrum disorders. One of the most inane beliefs of some these pseudo-intellectuals is that the use of labels which distinguish different autism disorders, or distinguish between autistic people based on the severity of their autistic traits, presents unnecessary barriers between autistic people.

What the neuro-nonsense advocates do not deal with are the realities faced by people like Oklahomans, Deborah Decker, mother of two autistic children, one 5 and one 6, and Wayne Rohde, father of a 10 year old autistic boy, who appeared before the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee of the Oklahoma legislature. As reported by the Oklahoman:

Her voice quavering and her eyes welling with tears, Deborah Decker described for state lawmakers Thursday the difficulties her family confronts every day while raising her 5- and 6-year-old autistic children.

"For the last five years, my family has been living in crisis mode,” Decker, president of the Autism Society of Central Oklahoma, said as she and other parents pleaded for the state's help to obtain and pay for therapies for their autistic children.

The parents offered emotional accounts of how they struggle to pay for expensive behavioral and speech therapies not provided by the state or covered by private health insurers.

"We are bankrupt,” said Wayne Rohde, the father of a 10-year-old autistic child. Rohde urged lawmakers to require health insurers to pay for the diagnosis and treatment of the developmental disorder.

Deborah Decker and Wayne Rohde are struggling to help their autistic children who they obviously love dearly. They are facing autism reality in Oklahoma.

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