Parents of Autistic Kids Worried About State Cuts

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Parents of Autistic Kids Worried About State Cuts

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Brandon Rittiman/KUNR

A mother holds her autistic child before a meeting of the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday.

If you wanted to see a lot of grown men and women cry, then the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee hearing Wednesday was the place to be.

The committee heard testimony on three bills meant to streamline and centralize state autism services.

It wasn't supposed to be about money, but it was hard for parents and doctors to testify without being alarmed by further cuts proposed in Governor Brian Sandoval's budget.

Parents talked about having to choose between paying hospital bills and buying autism treatment, not having their kids diagnosed early enough, and being on long waiting lists for state help.

That's what's happened to Shannon Springer's 11-year old daughter Joy.

Springer worries that on a waiting list of more than 350 Nevada kids, her daughter is going to be passed over because of her age.

Springer: "They're gonna pick the younger kids because the younger kids need the intervention. I understand that. But what about the kids that are aging out? Where are they going to go?"

Kids tend to get worse again when their treatment stops.
Catching it early can keep symptoms down.

A specialist testified that Nevada is going backwards when it comes to catching autism in kids under 3.