Friday, December 3, 2010

Neurology Now!

An article on Early Intervention in Autism in the current issue of Neurology Now Magazine quotes me generously. By all means take a look on their site, My only quibble? My husband John and BSNC's  Ben Fox should get credit for the development of Facilitated Social Inclusion (FSI). Our company, Brooklyn Special Needs Consulting offers professional training in FSI, which I recommend not only from a professional standpoint, but also as the mom of 7-year-old social butterfly with autism, who owes his now impressive social life to this program.
Many thanks to author Debra Gordon, MS for giving me such a prestigious platform and spreading the good word about Facilitated Social Inclusion.
Here's the part about my family and me:
"Carol Greenburg, the mother of a 7-year-old son with autism as well as a special education lay advocate who helps parents get the services their kids need, developed a similar program she calls facilitated social inclusion. It involves training normally developing children to teach the autistic child how to play. It is one of several approaches she uses with her son, Arren, who was diagnosed at age 3-and-a-half. Her son, who used to barely respond to request to play from other children, now initiates play. Instead of the social isolation most autistic children experience, Arren attends parties and play dates with both autistic and normally developing children.
Arren's parents, who live in Brooklyn, NY, began working with him in a home-based program until they found a private school, where he's been ever since. There, he receives one-on-one behavioral intervention along with home therapy. Today, the boy who used to only talk in memorized lines from his favorite TV show can ask for what he wants, follow directions, answer questions, and tell his mom where it hurts when he's sick. We started seeing changes almost immediately once therapy began, says Greenburg. He will continue at the school and with the therapy, says Greenburg, as long as he needs and not a day longer.


Carol Greenburg felt the services her local school district offered for her autistic son were inadequate. She and her husband paid the $85,000-a-year tuition for their son's private school and sued the school board for reimbursement. While they did receive some reimbursement, many parents don't. And they can't turn to their health insurance for help; according to the advocacy group Autism Speaks, just 14 states require insurers to cover medically necessary, evidence-based autism therapies. In the other states, the group says, insurers specifically exclude behavioral therapies from policies. The group is pushing for a federal law that would supersede state laws and require insurance companies to cover such therapies.
No health care reform is adequate without recognition of autism, says Greenburg. It's a medical/neurological condition and the fact that it's not covered by insurance is a disgrace.".

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