Is ASD treatable? How do these treatments help?
ASD is a highly treatable medical condition. Treatments recommended by the national standards often significantly improve communication, social behaviors, self-regulation and independence. For someone with ASD, getting the right help can mean the difference between being a productive member of society or being forced to rely on family members and social services for extensive support. For a range of evidence based treatment options, visit a medical professional with expertise with evidence based treatment of autism for evaluations and treatment recommendations.
What happens when ASD goes untreated?
In the absence of timely and individualized treatment, children develop debilitating behaviors that impede learning and socialization and often force the children into more and more restrictive settings. This impacts quality of life for these children adversely and often leads to severe depression and secondary mental health conditions in addition the autism.
According to one Harvard study, the lifetime societal cost of untreated Autism is over $3.2 million dollars per person. In contrast, there is over 1.5 million dollars savings per person if early intervention is provided. Autism costs the nation over $90 billion per year, a figure expected to double over the next decade.
What are the difficulties involved with receiving ASD treatments?
For many families, the largest barrier to receiving effect treatments is simply the price tag. Depending on the severity, treatments for ASD can run anywhere from $25,000 to over $50,000 per year, thus imposing an unsustainable cost burden on many working families.
This problem is compounded by the difficulty involved in getting insurance companies to cover ASD treatment. Insurers have a long record of simply disregarding federal and state law requiring that they cover treatments for ASD. While there are nine lawsuits currently underway in the state of Washington seeking to address this disparity, it could take several months before all the lawsuits are settled and an adequate network of healthcare providers are available statewide.
These obstacles to obtaining coverage have created a significant disincentive among medical providers to diagnose or treat autism. Washington carriers lack an adequate network of qualified behavioral health and allied health providers with expertise and experience in autism.