Posted January 12, 2019 04:11:47There’s no doubt that some people with autism have been labeled “hyperactive.”
But for most people with the disorder, it’s not a label they’re afraid to speak out about.
A new law in Louisiana will make it legal to have an in-person conversation with a parent or caregiver about autism.
And a new law will make that conversation easier to have in-home, too.
The new law, the Louisiana Autism Caregivers Protection Act, will make the ability to ask questions in person with a person with autism easier for people with a developmental disability.
It requires that parents and caregivers get a waiver from their state attorney general to ask such questions.
It also makes it easier for them to get an in house autism checkup and diagnosis.
“You can have that conversation in the privacy of your home.
You can be in the moment,” said Jennifer Smith, a therapist and autism advocate who’s the executive director of the Autism Advocacy Center.
Smith said people with developmental disabilities are often reluctant to talk about their diagnoses and needs.
“The more often you do it, the more people you’re going to be talking to, the less comfortable they are going to feel,” Smith said.
But autism advocates are thrilled with the new law.
“When people come out and say, ‘Oh my god, I have autism, I don’t know what to say.
How can I explain this to my children?
How can they understand me?'” said Adam Hirsch, the founder and president of the advocacy group Autism Speaks.
Hirsch said he hopes the law will lead to more parents talking to their kids about their autism, even if they don’t have the disorder themselves.
The law is one of several that the Louisiana Legislature has approved in the last year, including bills that expand mental health services and support for parents who are transitioning to care for their autistic children.
It also makes a wide array of other changes to the state’s disability laws, including requiring people with mental health issues to obtain the same type of medical records required for other people.