Thanks in large part to the Autism Votes
initiative, there has been a near domino-effect of states pushing for autism
insurance reform. Missouri, California, Oregon and Virginia are the most recent
states that have made headlines in the past few weeks related to this issue.
In light of the current legislative efforts to have autism-related services covered by insurance, many parents and families are continuing to seek out what states are the most "autism friendly."
Nearly four years ago, our site published a list that included what we felt at the time, was the top states to live in for autism support and services. The list was compiled from extensive research efforts, but has since become outdated.
As we have found over the years, the problem with rating states is that circumstances are often very fluid and things can change very quickly. Additionally, services can be vastly different from county-to-county or city-to-city. As such, any "top" lists are subject to flaws.
Then there is the issue of subjectivity. What was found is that two families residing in the same state can have two vastly different experiences. As a result, one may tell you the state is terrific, while the other will say how horrible it is.
If anyone is looking to relocate to a state that will be best suited for your child with autism, it is suggested that you do extensive research and not rely solely upon an article, news report or limited information. Talk to parents, educators, and caregivers who reside in the state and get your hands on as much information as you can.
Probably the most beneficial resource about individual states and how they relate to autism can be found on the Easter Seals website. They have a tremendous amount of information compiled on each state that will be extremely beneficial to potential and existing residents who are in need of autism services.
The Easter Seals list can be an excellent start to your research, but like anything else, should not be solely relied upon when you make a decision on where to live. Hopefully, in the near future, we will see sweeping federal legislative changes that address autism so everyone, regardless of where they live, will be on a level playing field. Until then, be sure to fully equip yourself with knowledge and information to give your child the best future possible.