Dylan's Law Could Benefit Families Facing Autism

Published: Feb. 26, 2008 at 10:03 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2008 at 12:21 AM HST
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Kalma Wong
Kalma Wong

By Beth Hillyer

KAILUA (KHNL) -- Local families with autistic children are asking lawmakers to help them with their medical bills. The parents say autism is treatable if you just have the right tools.

Now these families want a law passed to ensure insurance covers the treatment like any other medical bills. Like many moms, Kalma Wong picks up her kids from school. Unlike many parents, she will be testifying before lawmakers to plead with them to pass a law named after her son.

"Dylan is wonderful little boy. He's my son. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. He didn't get his AB therapy going until he was 4. It's made a load of difference it has made a world of difference in his life," explained Kalma Wong.

Wongs daughter, 6-year-old Leigh, is also diagnosed with autism. Her mom says she is high functioning and attributes that to therapy at an early age.

"Most of the parents have to seek the right treatments on their own, it's not something readily given to you because the level of knowledge here really isn't that high," Wong added.

Wong says the preferred treatment for autistic kids is applied behavioral analysis but it's not covered by insurance.

"And then you find out it's hard to find people who do are knowledgeable and have expertise and years of experience to do it here. And when you do find it most of us end up having to pay for it on our own," said Wong.

Dylan's' Law would change that. "Autism is a medical issue, it's a medical issue and it should be covered by medical insurance," said Wong.

Several other states passed laws or have bills pending requiring insurance companies to pay for autism treatment.