Pediatric neurologist Dr. Gregory Barnes from the Commission for Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Louisville is opening the Office of Autism in Kentucky, a statewide and regional office providing support for families and caregivers by coordinating resources, and giving referrals - local points of contact - of specific physicians such as pediatric developmental doctors. Crissy Ramey of Families on the Spectrum comes back to Sounds Good to tell us about the meeting at Lourdes tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 22), welcoming Dr. Barnes to Paducah.
Paducah's Crissy Ramey of Families On The Spectrum joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to talk more about parents of autistic kids dealing with IEPs, or Individualized Education Programs. Families on the Spectrum is a new local non-profit group, whose goal is to provide fun family outings, meetings, parents' nights out, and to offer community support for autism families in western Kentucky.
Murray's Playhouse in the Park is starting a program for kids with special needs called The Penguin Project. At 6 p.m. this Thursday (May 22) and next Thursday (May 29), Playhouse hosts introductory - get acquainted meetings for special needs youth with youth interested in becoming peer mentors, and anyone who wants to know more about the project. Kate Lochte learns more with founder and director Dr. Andy Morgan. Dr. Morgan is a professor of clinical pediatrics and former head of the Division of Child Development at the University College of Medicine in Peoria, Illinois.
Families on the Spectrum is a support group for families of autistic children with outreach based on love, awareness and acceptance. Krissy Ramey is one of its board members, the parent of an autistic child, and an aggregator of information about real life with autism. Kate Lochte speaks with Ramey about the group and how you can get involved.
Legislation passed last Friday in the Kentucky House of Representatives codifies a new Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders. We learn more about this Council and how it reshapes services to ASD individuals with the Medical Director of the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Dr. Allen Brenzel, a Lexington Pediatrician and Child Psychiatrist. Kate Lochte opens the discussion by asking how this council differs from its predecessor, created during the administration of Governor Ernie Fletcher in 2005.
Some Kentucky parents of autistic children say they've received little or no insurance coverage for treatment despite a 2010 state law mandating benefits.
Kentucky insurers say the law has required a smoothing-out period to address legal gray areas and other unforeseen challenges. But autism advocates argue insurers have had plenty of time. Meanwhile, parents say they can't sustain the tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket treatment costs.