Families push for more autism care in GA

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Annual Hope for Autism Walk and Family Fun Day is this Saturday, September 26.  Some local parents feel that their autistic children do not receive enough care from the state of Georgia.

Jennifer Le Denny’s 4-year-old son has autism, which is a communication disorder.  She said she was able to find help from people like Keri Lara.  Lara moved to North Carolina to get help for her autistic son.

After 8 years in NC, Lara moved back to Columbus and is now educating families about how to help their children.  She said Columbus does have the funding to advance autism care.

“It’s not openly and freely offered in the schools, nor supported that way here so, it’s difficult for families,” Lara said.

While there is no cure for autism, there are treatments.  Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is one of the most effective treatments for autism.  Le Denney said ABA has greatly helped her son.

“He actually seeks out attention of peers.  He didn’t do that before.  His meltdowns are almost non-existent,” Le Denney said.

Georgia lawmakers passed Ava’s Law this year.  Ava’s Law guarantees $30,000 worth of insurance coverage for treatment for children under the age of 6 diagnosed with autism.

The walk is from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday at North Highland Church in Columbus.

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