I usually don’t watch Dr. Oz’s television show but he dedicated most of his show today to autism so I made it a point to watch. It is exciting anytime autism awareness can be raised through national publicity so I applaud Dr. Oz for giving the topic the attention it deserves.
Most of the show was dedicated to discussing the possible causes of autism. While that was the focus of the show, and a very important one at that, I believe some other important points were only briefly addressed. The topics of the importance of early intervention and providing quality educational programs for children with autism were only discussed in passing. As an educator working with kids with autism, I see the vital necessity that funding for early intervention and special education plays in making a difference for these kids.
In California and many other states, deep cuts have already been made to early intervention and education funds and the cuts are only going to get worse with the current economic climate. Community members can do their part by staying informed and connecting with their legislators to make sure state and federal legislation supports children with autism. We need our state and federal legislators to work for legislation that makes insurance companies responsible for necessary therapies and for increased public education funding.
The website autismvotes.org is a good resource for staying up to date on state and federal legislation that affects autism funding.
Video clips of the Dr. Oz show can be seen here: