With a petition signed by thousand and 30,000 Georgia children in need of it, Ava’s Law will get another push at the Georgia State Capital. Although the bill authored by Georgia State Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) failed last year, Sen. Albers believes it now has the support it needs to pass.
Named for Anna Bullard’s 9-year-old daughter, Ava, who greatly benefited from the type of treatment and therapies the bill would cover; Ava’s Law would require insurance companies to cover the cost of autism treatment.
Anna, was told Ava would never be able to speak. Her search for scientifically proven treatment for her daughter led her to Early Autism Project, where therapists began using intensive Applied Behavior Analysis therapy with Ava when she was three years old. This treatment resulted in a significant improvement. Bullard told 11Alive News Tuesday morning, “(Ava) couldn’t speak. She didn’t know I was her mama. And now … she’s a child that’s a part of our family and can speak for herself and make her own choices,”
“It’s about quality of life. It’s about a child being able to speak or not. We want that to be available for all children, not just certain children,” added Bullard of Ava’s Law.
“Passing Ava’s Law is the morally right and fiscally conservative thing to do’”, said Sen. Albers. “We can help children, those with special needs, and save money. It just doesn’t get any better than that”.
Though some argue the bill will drive up insurance costs, Sen. Albers denies that argument. He said, “Statistically, it doesn’t drive up the cost really at all. And the savings that come back for someone who might be able to not be in a special needs classroom and be able to make it into a traditional classroom saves everybody money. It’s simply the right thing to do,”
Today, Ava is a fourth-grader in a general education classroom in Lyons, Ga. She no longer requires intensive treatment.
For more information about autism advocacy, please visit, http://www.icare4autism.org/news/category/autism-advocacy/