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Class Action Suit Filed to Defend Rights of Children With Autism to Vital, Cost-Saving Treatment
Date:1/14/2010

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,"
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SOURCE Public Counsel
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