Senator Ron Justice
State Capitol Room 423
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2009
Sen. Ron Justice
SENATE GRANTS AUTISM RELIEF TO OKLAHOMA FAMILIES
The State Senate passed SB 135 with overwhelming
bipartisan support today, granting much needed relief for autistic
children and their families.
Justice, R-Chickasha, authored the legislation and applauded
the efforts of his colleagues.
“In order for us to positively affect autism
families in our state, working on this legislation really had
to be a team effort,” said Justice. Senate Bill 135 provides
for the enactment of a licensing process for national Board Certified
Behavioral Analysts and enhancement of existing state programs
that would train doctors to diagnose and treat autism.
Studies have determined that a shortage of trained
providers has made it difficult for families to obtain autism
services, even when they have financial assistance. A recent state
pilot program provided families over $12,000 a year to obtain
autism-related services, yet much of the funds went unused due
to the lack of trained Autism professionals in the state.
SB 135 will increase the number of trained specialists
to treat autism spectrum disorders while allowing the open market
to adjust coverage based on the demand of services.
“With the passage of SB 135, we can provide
a trained and accessible provider network in Oklahoma that will
aid the families who are dealing with the growing challenge of
autistic children,” Justice added. “Our hope is that
this legislation will be a very positive and compassionate step
toward meeting their needs.”
Senate Bill 135 includes the following provisions:
• Establish a state license for national Board Certified
Behavioral Analysts and create a professional standard for Applied
Behavioral Analysis (ABA).
• Increase training for the evaluation and diagnosis of
autism spectrum disorders.
• Enhance Sooner Start by providing professional training
for the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders.
Sooner Start is an early intervention and treatment program for
children with disabilities and developmental delays age birth
• Provide intensive early intervention for more children
by replicating Early Foundations. Early Foundations is an autism
treatment and outreach model that offers behavioral intervention
through trained providers.
For more information contact:
Sen. Justice's Office: 405-521-5537