Discontinued autism therapy prompts California class-action lawsuit

Legal news for California health care attorneys. Families of autistic children are in an uproar after a state-funded therapy was cut.

California health care attorneys alerts- A class-action lawsuit was filed after state-funded autism therapy was cut.

Los Angeles, CA—Families in eastern Los Angeles County have filed a class-action lawsuit after state-funded services for autistic children were discontinued. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, January 14, 2010 on behalf of the affected families in the Los Angles County Superior Court, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The Eastern Los Angeles County Regional Center alerted over 100 families that their children were loosing the DIR therapy model, which stands for “developmental individual difference, relationship-based”, late last summer. The therapy was cut as a result of state budget cuts, which now has parents in an uproar. The California Legislature cut over $300 million in services in experimental treatments, recreational activities, and nonmedical therapies for the developmentally disabled. The therapy is part of a popular treatment called “Floortime,” where a therapist follows a child’s lead while playing to help to build communication and social interaction skills. DIR was cut because “it doesn’t meet the rigors of science.” Even though there are no known controlled scientific studies on the DIR treatment, in 2001 the National Research Council determined that the treatment “had enough in common with other proven methods, which can be considered a valid model for treating autism.” The lawsuit contends the therapy cut “threatens to condemn our clients and this group of children to a bleak future under institutionalized care.”

According to Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org, “Autism is a disorder of neural development that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.” The disorder is reportedly being diagnosed at record rates.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California health care lawyers.