Navigation Links
Class Action Suit Filed to Defend Rights of Children With Autism to Vital, Cost-Saving Treatment

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, attorneys with Public Counsel and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP filed a class action law suit and preliminary injunction on behalf of children with autism against the Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) for unlawfully terminating the most effective treatment for their condition.  ELARC, a nonprofit agency through which the state provides statutorily-required services to people with disabilities, suddenly and illegally eliminated funding for the treatment, known as "DIR," after more than 10 years of providing it to hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly low-income children with autism.  

Autism, a severe neurological disorder, is the fastest-growing developmental disability in California and the nation; today, 1 in 110 children born in the United States have some form of autism.  The "DIR" or Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based treatment, as ELARC has long acknowledged, provides the children in the lawsuit with the only effective means by which they may grow into or continue to be healthy and functioning members of society.

"DIR treatment is what stands between these children and a life of dependence," said Laura Faer, the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel's Children's Rights Project. "At an economic low point for California, this agency could not have made a poorer choice for these children or for the state's finances.  DIR is cost-effective, changes lives, and prevents state-funded hospitalization and institutionalization."  

For twelve-year-old Benito R., DIR is the only treatment that has worked to control his violent, aggressive behavior.  

"DIR treatment is making a huge difference," said Benito's mother, a low-income single mom who works full time. "Without this help, I would never be able to take Benito out into the world, even to do simple things like grocery shopping for fear of what might happen.  I'm worried that he will revert back to the way he was, aggressive, dangerous and unable to interact even with me."

Like the other class members, Benito is entitled to these services under California's Lanterman Act, which was enacted to prevent the institutionalization of developmentally disabled persons.  In particular, the Act prohibits the unilateral termination of authorized and necessary services.

"Raising a child with autism on a limited income is hard enough," said Brian Capra, Staff Attorney at Public Counsel. "ELARC has broken the law meant to protect those families and children and done so in a way that leaves them without options.  It's inexplicable and wrong."

ELARC's termination of DIR is based on a misapplication of the so-called "Trailer Bill," which was passed by the California legislature last July, and prohibits Regional Centers like ELARC from, among other things, funding "experimental treatments."

"Far from being 'experimental,' DIR has successfully treated thousands of children with autism in 33 states and in countries throughout the world," said John Sharer of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.  "Over the past 20 years, it has substantially improved the quality of their lives and has transformed many of these children into fully-functioning, well-adjusted members of society."

ELARC is also the only regional center, out of seven in Los Angeles County, to have misinterpreted the new legislation in this way.  Attorneys for the case have learned that DIR programs are still being provided to children at the other Regional Centers in LA County and throughout California.

"ELARC's actions have no basis in law, and they will cause irreparable and irreversible harm to these children," said Katie Marquart, attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. "These children already face tremendous daily struggles.  ELARC's action will unnecessarily result in devastating consequences for their psychological, emotional and physical well-being.  It is for these reasons that today we ask the Court to immediately enjoin ELARC and stop it from eliminating this vital program."

About Public Counsel -

Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the world. Founded in 1970, Public Counsel is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community, including abused and abandoned children, homeless families and veterans, senior citizens, victims of consumer fraud and nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities.

About Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR) –

The DIR treatment plan for autism focuses on the individual differences among children with autism, including understanding the child's emotional, social, behavioral, and intellectual level; individual differences in motor, sensory and language functioning and the child and family functioning and interaction patterns.  It places a premium on forging a close bond between the parent and the child and the clinician and the child.

SOURCE Public Counsel



SOURCE Public Counsel
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Kingfisher Healthcare (KFH) Achieves World Class Quality Platform
2. ADDA Kicks Off AD/HD Awareness Campaign with Four Regional Conferences Beginning Sept. 29 and Series of Fall Teleclasses
3. A classic method for modeling skin cancer is featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
4. First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Lights Class Action
5. Theater Classes Help Docs Bedside Manners
6. Tarpinian: Misclassification is Theft
7. New class of RNA molecules may be important in human cancer
8. Instrumentation Laboratory Named Top of Class by Respiratory Care Managers
9. Consumer Group: Hillary Clintons Mandatory Health Insurance Purchase Plan is an Act of War on the Middle Class Family That Cant Afford $12k Policy
10. SATELLITE BROADCAST: Consumer Group Says Hillary Clintons Mandatory Health Insurance Plan is an Act of War on the Middle Class that Cant Afford $12k Policy
11. Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against LCA-Vision Inc.
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today ... owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive ... as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer ... classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with family ... of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at home ... recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ,     Ingredients: ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Ministers, senior ... (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies ... the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like ... , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. ... OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... WILMINGTON, N.C. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announces the planned investment of at least $15.8 ... in Wilmington, NC . The ... services capacity to meet the growing demands of ... Wilmington site expansion will provide up ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: ... agreement with the New York State ... of the Sherman Act, and other statutes with the Attorney ... February 2014, to cease marketing and selling the now generic ... settlement, Allergan admits no liability, has released its counterclaims against ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... USP 800 applies to all healthcare ... pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, home healthcare ... covers all entities which store, prepare, transport, or ... institutions, patient treatment clinics, physicians, practice facilities, and ... --> What is the purpose of USP ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: