Rallying For Autism Funding

1 decade 7 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 26 2007 Apr 26, 2007 Thursday, April 26, 2007 4:53:16 PM CDT April 26, 2007 in News
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There is a good chance their suggestions will materialize now that funds are available and the instances of autism is on the rise.

"When my son was diagnosed, it was only 2 in 10,000, now it's 1 in 150," said parent Penny Brennell.

A $4 million increase in autism funding is in next year's state budget, and a new panel is making plans.

"What we're going to do with this Blue Ribbon Commission is figure out, as the state of Missouri, where are we today at being able to help the people who are inflicted by this," said Sen. Michael Gibbons (R-St. Louis)

Parents at the capitol Thursday want to make themselves heard by the panel.

"We do want a word in that, because no matter how many experts you get in a room, parents know their kids," said Brennell. 

Half of the increased funding will go to early detection, which will reduce the year long wait for diagnosis in some areas. Some parents wish money could make services more affordable.

"I quit my job, my husband worked seven days a week to be able to afford to pay for it," said Brennell. "You have kids who are growing up today that could be engineers, doctors, lawyers, cure cancer, but they don't have the services to ever be in the schools to be trained to do any of these."

The panel will hold sessions around the state to gather input from different regions and sources.

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