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Better Medical Care for Children with Autism

Item # 44142

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If you have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, or know a family affected by Autism, you know that obtaining proper medical care for associated physical health concerns can be another challenge in a life already filled with challenges.

For years, autism has been considered by some, including many insurance companies, as solely a mental health issue. As a result, the physical health issues associated with autism have been ignored; in many cases insurers have not covered medical screenings or treatments for children with an autism diagnosis. In fact, despite increasing awareness of autism in recent times, many doctors still have difficulty providing effective care and treatment for autistic patients.

You can help change this.

The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is the nation's first to bring hospitals and physicians together with the goal of creating a model of comprehensive care to identify, manage, and treat the physical health conditions of children with autism. The network provides access to doctors who are experienced in helping patients with autism and providing treatment for associated conditions, which commonly include gastrointestinal and sleep disorders. As treatments for these conditions become better defined, the ATN is determined to see that insurers routinely recognize the autism diagnosis and cover physical health treatment.

Help this work continue. Initially, contributions will be used to develop a web-based system for providing technical assistance to primary care providers who are diagnosing and treating children with autism spectrum disorders. Information and access — cornerstones in being able to effectively provide better medical care for children with an autism spectrum disorder.

Make your donation of $5 or more an ongoing gift by checking the "Make this a Monthly Gift" box and you will help provide better medical care for children with Autism, each and every month.

Report from the field

August 2017

Donors like you helped to develop and implement the Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health (AIR-P). On a day-to-day basis, the work of the AIR-P is carried out by the 14 Autism Treatment Network centers. The goals of the AIR-P are to:

  • Conduct multi-site research on evidence-based interventions that improve the physical health of children and adolescents with ASD and developmental disorders, especially underserved populations
  • Transform AIR-P into a multisite Learning Network (LN) which will provide a collaborative laboratory for developing and testing evidence-based interventions and accelerating the adoption of effective interventions to improve care and reduce disparities
  • Support the development and mentorship of emerging new investigators
  • Develop and disseminate guidelines for interventions developed by the network
  • Accelerate the adoption of effective interventions, tools, and systems management
  • Leverage network capacity to compete for grant opportunities from other Federal and private sources.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow_

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