State Rolls Out Autism Strategy

Mar 18, 2013

The state’s plan for addressing the needs of the estimated 50,000 people in Michigan with autism includes better early treatment and more help for adults with autism.

State health officials unveiled the plan Monday.

Health officials say the first step is to train and hire people who know how to identify and treat autism spectrum disorders.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley signed the law last year that requires insurance companies to cover childhood autism treatments. He says that means more autism experts will either move to Michigan, or stay after they graduate from college.

“As we do better in providing the right support services early on, we think that the opportunities for a person with autism will really flourish," says Calley.

Calley says parents, teachers, and pediatricians also need to be trained to spot signals that a child may have autism. The state’s strategy also includes employment and independent living assistance for adults with autism.