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Autism bill passes House

On Thursday, an important, longtime coming Autism bill, HB 2764, passed in House of Representatives. After many sessions of work, the bill concerning an insurance mandate to provide coverage in the state of Kansas to include coverage for autism spectrum disorder, specifically, Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy overwhelmingly was passed by the House. The bill establishes the criteria for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder as well as the licensure requirement for those who administer ABA therapy.

Approximately 1,300 hours per year of intensive ABA therapy is provided for the first four years after diagnosis up to age 5. After the initial four years of intensive therapy, the bill provides for 520 hours per year up to age 12. ABA therapy is a growing and effective treatment prescribed for children diagnosed with autism. If provided at an early age at an intensive level (30 to 35 hours per week), it has shown to greatly reduce the effects of autism.

On March 18, Western Plains teacher Debbie Hagans brought high school juniors Kelly Flax, Jennifer Potter, Tori Ann Jenner, Hailey Fairbank, Kassi Paredes, Madeline Withington and Braden Mishler to meet with legislators from the 117th District.

John Ewy is the House representative in the 117th District, including Ness and Rush counties.

john.ewy@house.ks.gov

Hagans also shared with me Western Plains High School students and staff have been raising money to sponsor an honor flight to Washington for area World War II and Korean veterans April 16 to 19. The Western Plains Honor Flight Project has raised $7,500 and will include student guardians for veterans and be part of the Southern Coffey County Honor Flight, coordinated by former Ransom resident and school administrator Mike Kastle.

For more information, call Hagans at (785) 731 2352.