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A new report shows a lack of services and healthcare coverage for individuals with autism. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
A 16 member panel consisting of state lawmakers, doctors, parents, health officials and educators traveled the state, listening to members of the public talk about the needs of autistic individuals. The top republican in the senate established the group to gather information and make recommendations for lawmakers to consider in the upcoming session.
The panel's report contains 36 recommendations for making the state a leader in serving families impacted by autism.
Senator Scott Rupp chaired the panel. He says the kind of services available to families varies widely across the state.
Rupp says autism is getting attention from the state because of the growing number of individuals with the disorder.
The panel did not examine the causes of autism but focused instead on how to help individuals with the disorder.
He says a big problem is the lack of healthcare coverage.
Rupp has pre-filed legislation setting up an ongoing autism commission. He says he expects to expand the legislation now that the panel's report is public. If you'd like to see the report, we have a link to it on our website along with this story at KSMU.org