In January of 2006 our precious Joshua was diagnosed as Autistic, which subsequently broke our hearts; but at the same time kindled the fire for us to do something. My wife and I came upon the idea for the walk after learning of the difficulties of dealing with Insurance Companies and their guidelines (exclusions). We know first hand the struggles that parents face trying to get PROPER care and coverage for their Autistic child. My wife and I had the concept for this oragnization in 2005, the same year Joshua was first diagnosed as ADHD. Since then it has launched into this hopefully fantastic blessing for all the autistic children in Nevada and we anticipate it will spread to other states.This non-profit organization is the fruit of every parents frustration and our struggle with the red tape involved in getting PROPER education for their son or daughter with Autism that is guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities act.
It is our belief that all Autistic children deserve to be treated the same as other children regardless of their disability. It is time for the insurance companies and the Government to step up and start covering the cost of care and education that these defenseless children deserve. None of these children asked to be born Autistic. It's high time the government steps up to the plate and require health insurance companies to cover Autism as well as other disabilities and stop making excuses. We as a nation need to set up healthcare options, and proper schooling for these precious children. The Stride 4 Autism organization is pushing for a National Insurance Reform for children with disabilities, as well as pushing to set up state funded charter schools for Autistic children. It is pretty clear that what the school districts are offering now is extremely less than adequate. I want to say that it is not necessarily the school districts fault either, many of them are doing the best they can with what they have at their disposal. We are the richest nation in the world, you would think that we could take care of our own children here at home first. We need to stop funding other nations problems and deal with the Autism epidemic in our own backyard. The CDC says 1 in every 150 children falls into the Autism Sprectrum. If this was a disorder that the government understood it would be given a priority higher than what it has now(the priority now is disgraceful). Because it is Autism and so little is known about it; we as a nation are quietly letting the insurance bureaucracy sweep our children under the rug via red tape. Well not us here at Stride 4 Autism we plan to stand up for our rights as well as yours.
My wife and I are hoping that aside from the insurance changes, we want to get a charter school specifically for children with autism to provide the therapies and education needed in the Reno/Sparks area started. And eventually to open schools throughout the country. So that our children may receive the proper education promised them.
Plus with all the donations, sponsorships, and fundraiser monies we will be used for a scholarship fund for those children (up to age 18) with autism whose families have no means to pay or their health insurance companies refuse to pay for medical treatment, therapies,educational or medical devices needed, or medications. It will be called :
Joshuas fund for autistic children.
We have our State Govenor and First Lady, NV. SEN. John Ensign, NV. SEN Harry Reid, State Rep NV. Dean Heller, the Mayors of Sparks NV. and Reno NV. behind us with Dean Hellers office offering to help write up the legislation for a National Insurance Reform.