And they didn’t invite ME, the world’s greatest autistic attorney???? I am SHOCKED.
Autistic Hoya, though, has a good post on important aspects of “Autism Law” that didn’t get covered.
Although I do believe that mental health/DD parity in health insurance coverage is extremely important, focusing exclusively on coverage of a particular type of therapy – and particularly one that’s denounced by so many autistic individuals who have grown to adulthood – is short-sighted. Even if Applied Behavioral Analysis helps some people, it’s not the only thing that helps (Floortime, for one), and the odds are quite high that any “state of the art” intervention will at some later point be shoved aside in favor of something else.
Laws take forever to pass and even longer to change or repeal; they need to be designed to stay reasonable even when other circumstances have changed. The types of laws on which Autistic Hoya focuses (and on which I focus) – antidiscrimination laws – are pretty good at this. What counts as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, or a free and appropriate publication under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is open to reinterpretation and change as technologies and best practices evolve. The original version of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – the Education for All Handicapped Children Act – was enacted in 1975, long before the average school even had anything that could fairly be called a computer. Now, schools might be required to allow a child to use an iPad as a form of assistive communication.
I could go on, but I don’t want to spoil the amazing talk that I’m going to give at the next Autism Law Summit. To which I will assuredly be invited.