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Autism Bills Head to Governor Snyder's Desk

Autism Bills Head to Governor Snyder's Desk

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Mar 30, 2012

On the same day the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report on the prevalence of Autism, three bills addressing funding for Autism coverage in the State have passed in the house and senate.

They are key hurdles the President of Mid-Michigan's Autism Association and mother of an autistic child Mary Sharp has been waiting years to clear.

"This will make a big difference for people; whether they get the right kinds of education, the right kind of parenting, the right kind of support for becoming an adult," Sharp explained.

Its funding she says is even more essential in the state now that it is estimated that the number of people diagnosed with Autism in the country has grown almost 80% in ten years.

"Is there something in the environment that is causing more children to have autism," MSU Autism Specialist Brooke Ingersoll says that's only a part of the reason for the rise. "At this point, I'm not sure whether the evidence is clear as to whether or not there is truly and increase in number of children with autism spectrum disorder, or whether we're doing a better job of identifying them."

And identifying more, means a greater need for services and medical care for people like Justin Harlan, one child diagnosed with autism who wants all kids to have the same amount of help, which he's been fortunate to have.

"I'm just really happy this came in. We're benefiting a lot of people in Michigan and it's just such a good thing," said Justin.

And to him, the progression of the bills he can nearly recite by heart, couldn't have been resolved at a better time.