Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rotunda Filled on Autism Day at the Capitol

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Rotunda Filled on Autism Day

at the Capitol

Santa Fe-- State Senator Clinton Harden (R-District 7) joined members of the New Mexico Autism Community in recognition of Autism Day at the State Capitol on February 16th. Senator Harden spoke to families touched by Autism from around the state. The New Mexico Autism Society, The Autism Programs at the UNM Center for Development and Disability, and Camp Rising Sun, New Mexico 's Summer Camp for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders presented displays in the capitol rotunda to help educate the public about Autism.

According to the Center for Disease and Control, Autism now affects one in 150 births and is the fastest growing developmental disability.

Senator Harden is sponsoring a coordinated package of legislation so the New Mexico legislature and the executive can address swiftly and effectively the health, education and developmental complications that result from the disorder. “I believe that these pieces of legislation are important first steps in developing an appropriate service delivery system for children with autism in New Mexico . As our children and grandchildren become adults, we must continue to create and fund programs to help them reach their full potential,” Senator Harden said.

Senate Joint Resolution 1 requests that the Public Education Department develop a plan to work with other state agencies and stakeholders to develop and implement appropriate systems of care for the all students with autism spectrum disorder.

“This memorial requires the Public Education Department to plan how to use best practices and autism specialists in the development and implementation of individual education plans for children with autism spectrum disorder in our state,” Senator Harden said.

Senator Harden is also fighting for SB 39- Insurance Coverage for Autism Treatment- a health insurance mandate to cover autism treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder through high school.

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