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Better Medical Care for Children with Autism

Item # 44142

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If you have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, or know a family affected by Autism, you know that obtaining proper medical care for associated physical health concerns can be another challenge in a life already filled with challenges.

For years, autism has been considered by some, including many insurance companies, as solely a mental health issue. As a result, the physical health issues associated with autism have been ignored; in many cases insurers have not covered medical screenings or treatments for children with an autism diagnosis. In fact, despite increasing awareness of autism in recent times, many doctors still have difficulty providing effective care and treatment for autistic patients.

You can help change this.

The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is the nation's first to bring hospitals and physicians together with the goal of creating a model of comprehensive care to identify, manage, and treat the physical health conditions of children with autism. The network provides access to doctors who are experienced in helping patients with autism and providing treatment for associated conditions, which commonly include gastrointestinal and sleep disorders. As treatments for these conditions become better defined, the ATN is determined to see that insurers routinely recognize the autism diagnosis and cover physical health treatment.

Help this work continue. Initially, contributions will be used to develop a web-based system for providing technical assistance to primary care providers who are diagnosing and treating children with autism spectrum disorders. Information and access — cornerstones in being able to effectively provide better medical care for children with an autism spectrum disorder.

About Autism Treatment Network

The ATN began as a joint venture between the Northwest Autism Foundation in Oregon and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, and was subsequently joined by Cure Autism Now, Autism Speaks™, and the National Alliance for Autism Research, bringing together the three leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism spectrum disorders.

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