South Dakota Issues Final Report on Autism Spectrum Disorder Study for Children

Topics: Autism, State News,

The South Dakota state Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR), along with the Department of  Human Services (DHS), which includes the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), have issued a final report on a study that was conducted on  the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) for children in South Dakota.  

The Primary purpose of the study was to ensure that policy makers have the information needed to make informed decisions related to ASD insurance coverage and was initiated by a Senate Bill that was passed during the 2014 Legislative Session advancing a study of services and insurance coverage for the treatment of ASD for children. 

Health Management Associates of Lansing, Michigan conducted the study.  Public forums and data-gathering interviews were held in August to collect feedback and information from families, advocacy groups, legislators, policy leaders and others.  According the the study, about one in 68 children in the United States has been identified with ASD. 

The study analyzed the availability and certification of providers, accepted treatments and outcomes, as well as costs and benefits of autism services for children.  According to the study, it is estimated that the cost for caring for an individual with ASD over his or her lifetime ranges from 1.4 million to 3.2 million, based on the individual’s level of independence.  There were five types of intervention categories reviewed during the study (behavioral, educational, medical and related, allied health and complementary and alternative medicine).  Two of these intervention categories were found to have interventions that had a “moderate” or “high” evidence of effectiveness.  Intensive Behavioral Intervention Services (IBIS) had the strongest evidence of effectiveness, followed by Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), which had moderate evidence of effectiveness. 

DHS Secretary Gloria Pearson said “The last legislative session made clear there is deep interest in this topic, but that more information was needed to find solutions.  I am encouraged the report includes valuable input from a wide array of sources.”

FMI:  Read the full report at:   http://dlr.sd.gov/autism/documents/autism_report_final.pdf