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California Governor Signs Bill Strengthening State’s Autism Mandate
Date:10/4/2017

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 1074, a bill authored by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein (R- San Diego) and co-sponsored by California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). The bill received overwhelming support from both the California Assembly and Senate.

AB 1074 makes critical updates to California’s autism mandate, already regarded as one of the strongest in the nation. In addition to technical changes, AB 1074 removes the requirement for autism treatment professionals to be vendored with a state regional center and clarifies that evidence-based autism treatment includes clinical case management. Additionally, the bill removes a 6-month experience requirement for paraprofessionals who work one-to-one with individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a requirement that has limited the capacity of California’s autism treatment providers to meet the needs of California’s autism community.

“I’m gratified to have had the opportunity to increase access to treatment for individuals affected by autism. This bill clarifies California’s autism mandate to ensure behavioral health providers are not hindered by outdated requirements,” said Assembly Member Maienschein.

The bill’s co-sponsors worked together with Assembly Member Maienschein to identify how to increase access to evidence-based autism treatment without jeopardizing treatment quality or consumer safety.

“We are so thankful for Assembly Member Maienschein’s dedication to California’s autism community. AB 1074 ensures that individuals affected by autism have access to medically necessary treatment and that providers can increase their capacity to provide services without diluting treatment quality,” said Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., BCBA-D, executive director and founder of CARD.

California is home to more autism treatment providers than any other state; yet, individuals diagnosed with ASD often encounter delays and waiting lists when seeking medically necessary treatment.

"On behalf of our membership and the thousands of families they serve, we are grateful to Assembly Member Brian Maienschein for his leadership on this issue. The language included in AB 1074 will remove unnecessary barriers for providers and provide increased access to care for the vulnerable population receiving crucial behavioral health treatments," said Matt McAlear, executive director of CalABA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in every 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with ASD, with one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls diagnosed. These 2014 figures represent a 30 percent increase since 2008. As the prevalence of ASD has increased, services for individuals with ASD have not always kept pace with demand. The increase in autism diagnoses and the lack of resources available to families in many communities leave families struggling to access the services that are crucial to their child’s development. AB 1074 makes changes that should remove the obstacles that have prevented behavioral health providers from growing to meet the needs of the autism community.

About California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA)
California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) is the professional membership association representing behavior analysts in California. CalABA is dedicated to advancing, promoting, and protecting the science and practice of behavior analysis. For more information, visit http://www.calaba.org.

About Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)
CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. For more information, visit http://www.centerforautism.com or call (855) 345-2273.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/10/prweb14769082.htm.


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