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President of Nation’s Largest Federal Employee Union Makes Request on Behalf of Federal Employees with Autistic Children

President of Nation’s Largest Federal Employee Union Makes Request on Behalf of Federal Employees with Autistic Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage is requesting that coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), the most effective treatment for autism, be included in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP).  Gage touches on all the benefits of adding ABA to the insurance coverage in a two-page letter to John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

“It is imperative for federal employees who have a young child stricken with autism to have available the most effective treatment possible at the most efficacious moment,” wrote Gage. The letter states that several agencies, including the Office of the Surgeon General, has recommended this type of therapy as the most promising treatment to those children suffering with autism but the OPM’s insurance carriers have to include it in the coverage. “It is clear that if these federal employees do not receive the help they need by adding this coverage, the government will lose human capital investment when the employees must leave work for great periods of time to tend to their sick children or when they leave the job completely. Not to mention, the negative impact of denying these sick children intensive treatment is incalculable,” said Gage

Gage asks that ABA be included in the benefits packages starting in 2012 and be considered just like occupational therapy. The autism spectrum disorders affect around six in 1,000 children in the United States and are rapidly increasing. ABA is a therapeutic, one-on-one approach utilizing positive reinforcement to assist children.

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2 Responses

  1. Great to see this support

  2. As the parent of a child with autism, I am really proud to have AFGE push this!

    Thanks
    Valyria Lewis
    LP AFGE L555

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