Fellow Marylanders: PLEASE TAKE TWO MINUTES AND WRITE AN EMAIL TO YOUR STATE DELEGATE TODAY!
1. Confirm the name and contact information of your state delegate at http://mdelect.net/electedofficials/ . You may have more than one!
2. Write an email and/or a fax to their Annapolis office, one page:
a. Thank them for their work.
b. Ask them to support Maryland House Bill 1091.
c. Write a short paragraph about why you support this bill. Photos of loved ones with autism encouraged, if possible.
d. Include your HOME ADDRESS, preferred email and phone number.
IF YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES–also:
3. Forward a copy of your email to all of your Maryland friends, or post it on your Facebook page with a link to the Find Your Delegate page (http://mdelect.net/electedofficials/). Ask them to write, too! Autism is everyone’s cause; all of your neighbors can support our loved ones and make Maryland a better place for them to live.
IF YOU CAN COME TO ANNAPOLIS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 11TH:
4. Get an appointment with your delegate is possible and BE SURE to attend the hearing!
a. Phone your delegate’s Annapolis office and make an appointment between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon on Thursday, March 11th to meet with them and ask for their support of House Bill 1091 to end autism insurance discrimination. Once you get an appointment, let Judith Ursitti (Judith.email@example.com ) know and she will make sure you have talking points and materials to hand to your delegate. She will also connect you to any other volunteers from your district who may be coming to Annapolis on March 11th.
b. Attend the Hearing of the House of Delegates’ Health and Government Operations Committee at 1:00 pm March 11th, House Office Building, 6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401-1991. We want “Standing Room Only” to make our voices and our loved ones’ voices heard.
Dear Delegate Barve –
My name is Nora Fitzpatrick and I am a resident of District 17. Thank you for your hard work and service to our great state of Maryland.
Our daughter Rory is 4 and in the Collaborative Autism Preschool Program (CAPP) at Fields Road Elementary School in Gaithersburg. She was diagnosed wtih autism 2 years ago, and has benefitted greatly from the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that she has been receiving in Montgomery County schools for the past 2 years. Our family and friends are astounded by the progress she has made in that time. She is talking now, requesting things that she wants, and a fully participating member of our family instead of off in the corner, playing alone.
We are lucky in that Rory has been able to receive this ABA therapy in school. It is not something we would ever have been able to afford otherwise. And ABA is not covered by insurance. Rory would benefit from extra private speech and occupational therapy, but our expensive PPO often does not cover those services either. In fact, I spent 18 months trying to get our insurance company to cover 6 weeks of speech therapy from the summer of 2008, right after Rory was first diagnosed. These private therapies are incredibly beneficial, but beyond the means of most people.
We are incredibly fortunate to live in a county that provides amazing services to children with autism. The teachers are dedicated and hardworking. But the statistics now show an increased prevalence: 1 in 110 children in the United States are on the autism spectrum. Early intervention and ABA therapy is what works for these children. It changes lives and gives families with autism affected hope for the future. Rory is a happy, healthy, funny little girl and has improved exponentially because of behavioral therapy.
Thank you again for your hard work. Please support House Bill 1091.
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