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  1. Low Special Ed Graduation Rates Haunt Educators

    April 8, 2016- "Low Special Ed Graduation Rates Haunt Educators"- In 2014, the last year with available data, merely 63 percent of students with disabilities graduated high school. Mississippi high schools, which are the main focus of this article, demonstrated one of the worst graduation rates in the nation with only 28 percent of high school students with a disability earning their diploma. While this is an alarming trend for high schools, experts believe that students are not being granted appropriate instruction and services at the elementary and middle school levels, which leads to these students being underprepared for the high school curriculum.  

    • Apr 11 2016 08:58 AM
    • by brian
  2. Miss. Law Could Expand Autism Services

    April 15, 2015- "Miss. Law Could Expand Autism Services"- A new law could help families struggling to pay for autism treatments. House Bill 885, which was recently signed by Gov. Bryant, issues licenses for ABA therapists and legislates the coverage of autism screening, diagnosis, and treatment. The law takes effect in January. University of Southern Mississippi is starting a two-year master’s degree program this fall for people who want become ABA therapists.

    • Apr 20 2015 09:19 AM
    • by brian
  3. Providers: Miss. Needs More Autism Professionals

    April 3, 2015- "Providers: Miss. Needs More Autism Professionals"- Mississippi recently passed legislation for autism insurance coverage for ABA treatments effective July 1. However, the law mandates that the therapy can only be provided by licensed ABA professionals, of which there are few. Currently, a lot of recruitment is done out of state, but the University of Southern Mississippi plans this fall to offer a master’s level ABA curriculum. The legislation also created a 5-member state autism board which will oversee the issuing of state licenses for ABA therapists.

    • Apr 07 2015 10:23 AM
    • by brian
  4. Autism Insurance Bill Expected to be Signed Thu...

    March 26, 2015- "Autism Insurance Bill Expected to be Signed Thursday"- In the state of Mississippi, House Bill 885 is expected to be signed by Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday, which would cover up to 25 hours of ABA therapy for children up to age 8. Currently, ABA is covered by Medicaid. Once signed, the bill will go into effect July 1 of this year.  

    • Mar 30 2015 09:17 AM
    • by brian
  5. Autism Insurance Bill Goes to Governor

    March 17, 2015- "Autism Insurance Bill Goes to Governor"- The state of Mississippi must now only wait for its governor’s signature for insurance coverage of ABA therapy. The bill provides coverage to children between the ages of 2 to 8, but ongoing treatments can continue after that age cap if deemed medically necessary.  According to proponents of the bill, the average policy holder will only see an estimated 32-cent increase as a result of the legislation.

    • Mar 19 2015 09:46 AM
    • by brian
  6. Autism Insurance Bill Passes Senate Floor

    February 10, 2015- "Autism Insurance Bill Passes Senate Floor"- Senate Bill 2581, legislation extending autism insurance coverage to children passed the Senate floor on Thursday at a vote of 29-6. It requires the coverage of ABA treatment ages 2 to 8 and regulates the practice of ABA therapy to require providers to obtain state licenses. In January, the Mississippi House unanimously passed similar legislation and now both bills will go to the opposite chambers for consideration.

    • Feb 12 2015 10:06 AM
    • by brian
  7. Autism Reform Bill Passes Both Senate Committees

    January 29, 2015- "Autism Reform Bill Passes Both Senate Committees"-  Watered-down versions of Mississippi’s autism insurance reform bill are now on the Senate floor awaiting a vote. The bill was identical to a measure that went through the House Insurance Committee on Tuesday. Original versions of both bills would have covered children from birth to age 21, but the age was range was shorted from 2 to 8 years old before a vote was even taken. Not surprisingly, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, the state’s largest health insurer, does not back the bill.

    • Jan 30 2015 10:45 AM
    • by brian
  8. Hosemann Leads Push for Autism Insurance Coverage

    January 24, 2015- "Hosemann Leads Push for Autism Insurance Coverage"- The Mississippi Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, has helped create and file a pair of bills in the House and the Senate that would require any health insurer to cover the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism from birth to 21 years old. The treatments include psychiatric, psychological, and pharmaceutical care, as well as 25 hours a week of ABA therapy. The bills would also lead to the creation of the Mississippi Autism Board, which would issue and revoke ABA licenses. The passage of this legislation is a personal endeavor for Hosemann, who learned first-hand about the lack of services and difficulties in finding treatment in the state when his 3-year-old grandson was diagnosed last summer.

    • Jan 26 2015 02:07 PM
    • by brian
  9. Autistic Man Breaks through the Silence

    July 15, 2013- "Autistic Man Breaks through the Silence"- Watson Dollar is a non-verbal man in his twenties who gradually lost his ability to talk by the age he was two. However, through the use of his iPad, Watson is able to have a conversation with those around him with ease. The article includes a transcript of a typed conversation between him and his mother.

    • Jul 16 2013 03:30 PM
    • by brian
  10. Autism Support Group to Start at Allegiance Hea...

    March 27, 2013- "Autism Support Group to Start at Allegiance Health in April"- Allegiance Behavior Health Services is staring a support group for parents and caregivers of children who have been diagnosed with a developmental disorder. The Jackson, Mississippi facility is offering this free group that will feature an Allegiance Health therapist and monthly guest speakers.  

    • Mar 28 2013 10:40 AM
    • by brian
  11. Arts Council Aids Autism Effort

    February 16, 2013- "Arts Council Aids Autism Effort"- The DeSoto Arts Council is helping to raise awareness for autism by selling blue light bulbs in honor of World Autism Day on April 2. The proceeds from the light bulbs will go to support the Art for Autism Program, which includes a series of four weekly workshops for children with special needs conducted by art council artists, followed by a reception at the gallery, and exhibits in participating businesses across the country.  

    • Apr 15 2013 09:04 AM
    • by brian
  12. USM Hosts Autism Public Hearing

    January 15, 2013- "USM Hosts Autism Public Hearing"- The Mississippi Autism Advisory Committee (MAAC) will host a public hearing on current issues in Mississippi for individuals with ASD. Everybody affected by or interested in autism is invited to attend the hearing.  

    • Apr 04 2013 02:20 PM
    • by brian