My response to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune titled: Desperate parents surrender autistic children to state custody
"Autism is a real neuro behavioural disease. It does have many different presentations and degrees of severity. Some patients can be relatively high functioning, but as this article illustrates, many patients and their loved ones can be devastated for both the short and long term due to the many problems which are so destructive. Further, this disease is widespread with the studies showing up to 1 in 47 children afflicted. It may be even more prevalent. Families suffer in so many ways: financially, emotionally and physically.
Unfortunately, due to the many presentations and due lack of primary training in this area, many physicians do not diagnose this condition early nor know the best ways to treat. Research is on going and treatments are evolving that promise to be more effective.
Clearly, early intervention can be very beneficial. But treatments can be and are expensive--as are too many areas of medical care nowadays--and often not covered by traditional third party insurance, so patients and their families are left to cope with the costs and go without or experience crippling healthcare related costs.
I support increased research in the area of autism by our medical centers. We need to know more about causes and develop evidence based treatments. I encourage inquiry by our legislature into fairer and more effective ways to fund treatment of autism. Our current legislation in Utah is incomplete and we need together to meet as patients, families, insurers and medical providers to resolve this problem of recognition and under treatment of this condition."
Brian Shiozawa MD FACEP