autism

Scott Davidson / Wikimedia Commons

A Florida police officer has been convicted of a misdemeanor but acquitted of attempted manslaughter for shooting at a severely autistic man and wounding the man's caretaker. 

The state Agency for Health Care Administration wrapped up a series of statewide public meetings last week to address proposed changes to the Medicaid program that covers applied behavior analysis therapy.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration has backtracked on its decision to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for therapists who mostly work with children on the autism spectrum, but other changes are still on the table.

Governor Ron DeSantis’ pick to head the Agency for Health Care Administration, Mary Mayhew, passed her first Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. Mayhew briefly oversaw Medicaid for the Trump administration, and was over the program in Maine for seven years prior. Some Senators grilled Mayhew on her noted opposition to Medicaid expansion.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration last week proposed Medicaid reimbursement reductions for providers who treat children with autism.

Therapists who work with autistic children in the Medicaid system are having problems getting required state credentials, according to providers.

The issue has been going on for months and is impacting how many patients clinics can serve, the providers said.

There's strong new evidence that a common childhood vaccine is safe.

A large study released Monday finds no evidence that the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella increases the risk of autism. The study of children born in Denmark is one of the largest ever of the MMR vaccine.

State Medicaid Changes Come Under Fire

Jan 23, 2019

Florida has put in place sweeping changes to its main health-care safety net program over the last several months, but legislators on Tuesday received an earful about ongoing problems with the $28 billion Medicaid program.

The state has frozen payments to some providers who treat children with autism while it tries to ferret out fraudulent activity, but a high-ranking Medicaid official said the freeze should be lifted within two weeks.

One November afternoon inside a raised ranch in Rhode Island, Kristal and Chris' 13-year-old son was just getting home from school.

"How's school?" Chris says.

"Bad!" Dylan says. He's a skinny kid with glasses – still small enough for his mom to wrap him in a bear hug if he gets out of control.

He's had a lot of bad days. Dylan's parents review the daily reports his school sends home.

When you step inside the Creative Behavior Solutions clinic in Largo, the first thing you notice isn't what you can see, it's what you can hear – the sound of children laughing, clapping and singing.

Max Pixel

In a detailed, 65-page ruling, a federal appeals court Friday said a trial is needed in a legal battle about whether Disney theme parks have taken adequate steps to meet the needs of customers who have autism and cannot wait long times for rides.

More Children Have Autism Than Previously Thought

May 1, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical review of more than 320-thousand eight year olds found the number of autism diagnoses had increased by 150 percent from 2000. 

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Police Chief Brian Dugan announced plans Thursday to commemorate Autism Awareness Month. Their new program, "Help Us, Help You" is an online special needs registry for first responders in the city of Tampa.

Buckhorn announced in his State of the City address last year that he wants to make Tampa one of the first cities in America to be designated as autism friendly. This registry is the next step in his initiative.

Florida law enforcement will now undergo training to better understand individuals on the autism spectrum.

House Bill 39, which mandated the training, was filed on Nov. 23, 2016 — four months after a North Miami police officer shot an unarmed behavioral therapist who begged officers in a now-viral video to not shoot the autistic man he was working with.

A new Florida law requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers takes effect Sunday.

Emergency_Vehicles / Flickr

The sheriff in Pinellas County has fired a decorated deputy who was recorded taunting an autistic student at the middle school where he provided security and guidance.

Many more boys are diagnosed with autism every year than girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disorder is 4.5 times more common among boys than girls. Boys appear to be more vulnerable to the disorder, but there is some evidence that the gender gap may not be as wide as it appears.

North Miami Police Department

The North Miami Police Department is firing the commander in charge when an officer shot a therapist who was protecting an autistic man.

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law requiring autism awareness training for Florida’s law enforcement officers. But, some may not see the merits of the new law—that gained traction after a high profile incident last year.

Evan Granowitz / Flickr

The family of a Florida autistic man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over a 2016 police shooting in which the man's caretaker was wounded.

Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy.

An experiment using these cell clusters — which are only about the size of the head of a pin — found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature.

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo has criticized an autism awareness training proposal for law enforcement officers in the Florida Legislature as “feel-good legislation.” 

North Miami Police Department

Officials say a Florida police officer who shot an autistic man's caretaker is facing criminal charges.

The Florida House has voted to expand autism awareness training for law enforcement. Support for the issue amped up this session after a North Miami officer shot at an autistic man he thought was dangerous.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is now heading to the House floor.

For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air.

There are many challenges helping adults with autism  join the work force once they haev have aged-out of the school system.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. It comes after a high profile incident that occurred in South Florida last year involving a black man, an autistic man, and law enforcement.

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