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Bill To Change Lives Of Children With Autism Moves Forward

DENVER (CBS4)- A bill that could change the lives of hundreds of children in Colorado who are struggling with autism passed a state Senate committee on Thursday afternoon.

Treatment for children with the most severe Autism can cost up to $30,000 a year.

The state caps the number of children who qualify for Medicaid services at 75. They are only eligible for assistance until they are six years old.

Colorado Capitol State Legislature Generic
(credit: CBS)

Currently more than 300 children are on the wait list. The average wait is more than two years.

"What we're doing now is not working. Most kids, by time they're diagnosed and get put on the wait list, and they finally become eligible for services, they're looking at their sixth birthday and the services are ending. We know and there are lots of new research about different therapies that can be done for children with autism that will really make a lifelong difference," said Sen. Pat Steadman, a Democrat representing Denver.

The bill would lift the cap on the number of children who can qualify for services, eliminating the wait list.

It would also raise the age limit to eight to be eligible for services and guarantee children at least three years of services.

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