uot;It was nice just to have that money to really do some intensive treatment with him.”
Parents in the program were told how the money could be spent and what services might be best for their child, Decker said. Each family drew up a budget on how the money would be spent.
Decker said her family spent about $7,000 a year and would have spent more had more services been available.
Most of the money her family spent was on applied behavioral analysis, which most insurance companies don’t cover, she said. Other expenses were for therapy for her son and occasional baby-sitting expenses.
She said she spent more than the program’s average because her family was able to hire applied behavioral analysis tutors from their public school district. Because of the applied behavior treatment, her son now can answer "yes” and "no” questions, she said.
Nicholson said the pilot program also looked at ways families with autistic children could support each other. But results showed parents were so exhausted from taking care of their own children they were too weary to take on the task of helping others, he said.
Of the 30 families selected to take part in the program, 15 were from the Oklahoma City area and 15 were from the Tulsa area.
Several parents who came to the state Capitol earlier this year to speak in favor of autism legislation said they pay thousands of dollars each month for treatment for their children, with some traveling out of state for help. In most cases insurance won’t cover all the fees.