Autism Awareness Spreads in Athens, Georgia Senate

ATHENS —  After two years of deliberation, the Georgia Senate passed a bill that will require insurers to offer up to $30,000 of coverage to treat children with autism up to the age of six.

The passing of this bill comes on the heels of tonight’s screening of “Temple Grandin” at Ciné. Grady Newsource reporter Charlette Hall is covering the screening.

Temple Grandlin was a scientist known for her work in the humane livestock handling industry — she also had autism. Through her story, the movie is designed to help people learn about autism. The effort was put together by the Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD Athens program and UGA’s College of Education Applied Behavior Analysis Support Clinic.

The group has a campaign to help fund the clinic here in Athens, it is called Automatic for Autism.

The law is called Ava’s law. Houston Gaines, a LEAD Athens project co-founder, said he believes this is a step in the right direction.

Gaines said one in 64 children in Georgia has autism. The cost to care for these kids continues to increase well into the six-digit figures. The group has raised $27,000 as of today.

The proceeds raised by sponsors will go toward the endowment created by LEAD Athens, which will be used to help families who have an autistic child.

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