News Clips

January 14, 2010

Families Sue Over Discontinued Autism Therapy

Los Angeles Times | by Alan Zarembo


Families of autistic children in eastern Los Angeles County filed a class-action lawsuit today against the nonprofit agency that provides them with state-funded services, alleging that it had illegally discontinued their therapy for the disorder.

The agency, the Eastern Los Angeles County Regional Center, informed more than 100 families late last summer that the therapy - known as the DIR model, or "developmental, individual difference, relationship-based" - was being eliminated for their children because of state budget cuts.

The therapy is the basis for a popular treatment known as Floortime, in which a therapist follows a child's lead during play activities to build communication and social interaction skills.

Eliminating it "threatens to condemn our clients and this group of children to a bleak future under institutionalized care," said Laura Faer, an attorney with the Public Counsel Law Center, which filed the suit on behalf of the families in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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