autism

children holding hands
helpingting / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The state Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday that requires health insurers to cover the treatment of children with autism. The bill by state Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie, requires coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders in individuals under the age of 9.

"What this bill does is make that treatment option affordable and available first for children that are covered by a private insurance provider, and soon following, our SoonerCare recipients as well," Griffin said.

John Elder Robison wrote about his inability to read others’ emotions in his 2007 memoir “Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger’s.”

In his late 40s, he was invited to test a new treatment that might increase his emotional receptivity. The experiment had some impact on his ability to read emotions, but the effects weren’t all beneficial.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of Oklahoma children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has risen significantly over the past decade.

In 2010, Oklahoma was estimated to have 3,062 children ages 3 to 21 identified as having Autism. That number has risen drastically from 2002, when those reported in the same age group was 844.

Oklahoma Autism Network Director René Daman tells Emily Summars with eCapitol added diagnoses and improvements in the screening process contribute to the increase.