Huntsville mother and son to go to Montgomery to rally for autism - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville mother and son to go to Montgomery to rally for autism

By Trang Do - Bio | Email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of every 110 children has some form of autism. 

Tuesday, families who are affected by the disorder will travel to Montgomery to urge lawmakers to continue to support much-needed programs.

She'll be joined by about 40 others who will travel there by bus for Autism Legislative Day.

Thirteen-year-old Morgan Stevens loves to read with his mother Peggy.

Morgan was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.

With the help of therapy, he has been able to thrive.

But Peggy admits, the autism diagnosis is often a heartbreaking one for parents.

"It's almost a mourning time," she said. "When you're mourning, all you can think about is, 'Oh my gosh, how could this happen?' Then you kind of transition to, 'How can I make this better for my child?'"  

The CDC defines autism spectrum disorders as a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

Early intervention can greatly improve an autistic child's development.

But the problem is many insurance companies do not cover the cost of treatment.

"I know families that go into debt, that use credit cards, that take a second mortgage out on their house to try and meet the needs of the child," Stevens said. "Because you think,'Well if I don't do this, will this impact his prognosis lifetime?'"

That's why Peggy and Morgan will both go to Montgomery Tuesday, along with other local members of the Autism Society of Alabama, to lobby lawmakers on Autism Legislative Day.

2009's Autism Legislative Day led to the formation of an Alabama Interagency Coordinating Council -- a group charged with improving the treatment of autism in Alabama.

A walk to raise money for the Autism Society of Alabama is scheduled for Saturday, April 10th at Chapman Middle School.

©2010 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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