CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — Families with children who have autism have been jumping through hoops to get much-needed treatment. Lawmakers started working to change that on Tuesday.
Legislators in Raleigh introduced House Bill 91, “Reduce Reg. To Help Children with Autism,” to the Health Committee Tuesday and it was met with positive feedback from members.
The bill itself will eliminate what lawmakers call an unnecessary regulation for a licensed psychologist to oversee autism treatment by a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). They say there are very few licensed psychologists throughout North Carolina to monitor the BCBAs, who are already qualified to treat children on the autism spectrum.
“We don’t have as many psychologists that can supervise, and we don’t have the resources, this can kind of streamline that process,” said Representative Jason Saine, a sponsor of House Bill 91.
By eliminating the oversight regulation, it will increase access to treatment for autistic children and cut out the extra step for BCBAs.
“When Samuel was diagnosed for autism treatment, and everyone kept saying ABA, the doctors kept saying ABA. And when we were looking in our area, we couldn’t find anything in in our hometown,” said Bobby Robinson, who has an autistic son.
Robinson said she chose to quit her teaching job and drive all the way from Greenville to Winston-Salem to get treatment for her son Samuel, which is an example of how limited access is to autism treatment.
“No other state is like North Carolina. Currently, all other states BCBAs can operate independently. And so that extra regulation in North Carolina with the licensed psychologists is un-needed, ” Robinson said.