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BRIEF: Holcomb signs bill mandating further autism education study

Tribune-Star - 4/21/2017

April 21--A bill calling for a study committee to examine autism-related programs and services has been signed into law, and one of the advocates for the legislation is a Parke County woman whose son has autism.

The legislation, HEA 1644, calls for a study of applied behavior analysis (ABA) issues; ABA therapy focuses on positive reinforcement or intervention to improve behavior. Jenn Kersey, whose son, Couper, has autism, has advocated for the legislation.

It calls for a study committee to look at issues concerning: 1) the need to license individuals who practice applied behavior analysis; 2) independent centers that provide ABA and the oversight they receive to ensure their practices are current and fall under best practices; and 3) the appropriate training and curriculum for teachers of K-12 students who receive special education services.

Kersey advocated for the third provision.

State Rep. Alan Morrison, R-Terre Haute, was co-author of the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb last week.


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