Thursday, November 18, 2010


THANK YOU for the incredible groundswell of support you have shown over the past couple of weeks. The phone lines of the members of the Michigan senate have been lighting up and the accompanying message has been strong and clear: It's time for the Michigan senate to pass meaningful autism insurance reform.
As you already know, the Michigan Legislature will meet just a handful of times before the end of the year. The good news is that, due in large part to your efforts, all indications are that we will be on the agenda during the last three days of session for this year. If it is not, we will have to start all over in 2011. Michigan families dealing with the challenges of autism spectrum disorder simply cannot afford to wait. We must keep the momentum going.
Here is How YOU Can Help: 
Contact your Michigan senator today and ask them to pass meaningful autism insurance reform this session. Ask them if we can count on them voting YES for the autism insurance legislation. If you get any kind of definitive answer, whether it is Yes, No, or Undecided from the staff or the Senator, please let us know, as we will be keeping an updated list of Yes votes. There are currently 37 Senators. All we need are 19 YES votes.

1. First and foremost, pick up the phone and call your Michigan State Senator.
You can find out who your Michigan State Senator is and their phone number HERE. Be polite, but persistent. Don't be concerned if your senator is not in their office. Most of the Senators will be gone for the next two weeks on vacation, but their staff will still be there answering the phone and counting calls. Talk with their staff and let them know how critical it is that this legislation pass this year. Ask them if they know where the Senator stands. 
If you want to have even MORE of an impact, please take a moment and call Senators who represent the areas listed below. We are hearing feedback from the Senators who support the legislation that your calls are being effective! But there are Senators still on the fence, who have not been receiving as many calls. If you or anyone you know, lives in one of these areas listed below, please call the Senator who represents that region! It is vital that the Senators in these regions, specifically, hear from the people over the next two weeks.
  • Northwestern Oakland County (Commerce Twp, Highland Twp, Holly Twp, Lyon Twp, Milford Twp, Northville, Novi, South Lyon, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield Twp, White Lake Twp and Wixom)
  • Coloma, St. Joseph, Watervliet, Dowagiac, South Haven, Paw Paw
  • Saginaw and Gratiot counties
  • Saugatauck, Charlotte, Olivet
  • St. Joseph, Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee
  • The Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island
  • Macomb County
  • Algonac, Lapeer, St. Clair Counties
  • Detroit, Dearborn, River Rouge
  • Traverse City
  • Kent County
  • Holland
  • Lake Leelenau
  • Midland, Alpena, Oscoda
  • Northern Oakland County (Addison Twp, Auburn Hills, Independence Twp, Keego Harbor, Lake Angelus, Oakland Twp, Orion Twp, Oxford Twp, Pontiac, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Sylvan Lake and Clarkston)
  • Ann Arbor
2. Follow up your phone call with a quick, personalized e-mail. Here is a link to a FACT PAGE about the legislation. Please use these facts to support your own personal story. Again, to have even a more effective impact, please send emails to the Senators in the regions above. Again, all emails are also listed here,

3. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know who lives in Michigan, asking them to take action as well. They do not have to be personally affected by autism. There is strength in numbers. The stronger our voice, the more likely our success becomes.

Things could change by the minute and we will be sending out regular communications as we learn more over the coming days. Please stand ready to take action. We are in the closing miles of the marathon, heading up heartbreak hill. Now more than ever, we must put one foot in front of the other.

We will be asking you to take action frequently over the next few weeks. After five years, it has come down to the final few days. Please do not grow weary in the effort now! We have a great opportunity to pass meaningful autism insurance reform legislation this year. Thanks for doing all you can to help us cross the finish line.

For the sake of Michigan families and the fiscal well-being of the state, it is time for health insurance to cover autism treatment in Michigan. It's the right thing to do and now is the right time to do it. Let's make it happen this year!
You can stay up to date by visiting the AIM webpage or the AIM Facebook page on a regular basis.
Thank you for your commitment and advocacy,
Special Media Announcement!
Watch FOX 2 news in the morning, this Friday, the 19th at 8 am. Lieutenant Governor-Elect Brian Calley will be on the show that morning, discussing the critical need to PASS this legislation NOW.


AIM is comprised of over 3000 residents of Michigan who have pledged their support in passing the autism insurance legislation in Michigan. The sole aim of AIM is to pass autism insurance legislation in Michigan with the help of those 3000+ members.

AIM Position Statement

It is our position that
1) legislation should be passed in the state of Michigan that will require insurance companies to cover diagnosis, treatment, and services for all people wiht Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
2) all people with ASD should be covered, regardless of age.
3) Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined as any of the pervasive developmental disorders as defined by the most recent edition of the DSM.
4) this coverage should include treatments as prescribed or ordered by the insured's treating physician or psychologist and that no insurer may deny coverage for an individual based solely on the fact that the individual is diagnosed with an ASD.
5) covered treatments shall not be subject to visit limits.
6) there should be a provision for an expedited arbitration process if an insurance company denies coverage or changes coverage status.
7) coverage should not be construed as limiting access to benefits or other services that are otherwise available to an individual.

List of Supporting Organizations as of 4/23/10

ACT Network

Ann Arbor Families for Autistic Children's Education and Support

Autism Advisory Group
Autism Alliance of Michigan
Autism ASK

Autism Insurance in Michigan (AIM)

Autism Resource Network

Autism Society of America

Autism Society of America - Oakland County Chapter

Autism Society of Washtenaw County

Autism Society of WestShore

Autism SpeaksAutism Alliance of Michigan

Beaumont Hospitals

Behavior Analysts Association of Michigan

Detroit Medical Center
DTE Energy Company

Early InterventionCenter

Easter Seals

Elder Disability Rights Association Section of the State Bar of Michigan

Family Chiropractic Clinic

First Capital Directories

Forestview Lanes

Fravel Financial Services

GFWC Madison Heights Intermediate Womens Club

Glenn Buege Chevrolet

Henry Ford Health System

HOPE Network
Image One Corporation

Kaufman Children's Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc.

Michael James Associates

Michigan Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals

Michigan Association of IntermediateSchool Administrators

Michigan Association of School Administrators

Michigan Association of School Boards

Michigan Association of School Psychologists

Michigan Association of School Social Workers

Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health

Michigan Nurses Association

Michigan Pharmacists Association

Michigan PTA

Michigan Secondary School Principals Association

Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association

Middle Cities Education Association

Monroe IntermediateSchool District

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Michigan Chapter (member of Partners for Parity)

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section
Rehmann CPAs Troy, MI

The Abilities Center

The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
The Children's Center of Wayne County

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
Wayne County

If your organization is not on this list and you would like to show your support, please email your organization name and your contact information for verification to Thank you!

Jim Bouder's Testimony 6/9/09

Espinozas' Testimony 6/9/09