Families like the Colberts need help now!
Ramsey, NJ (PRWEB) March 9, 2010
For the one in 94 New Jersey families whose children struggle with autism spectrum disorders, finding financial help for ABA and other therapies is often a struggle. World Autism Awareness Day, taking place April 2, will draw attention to the growing worldwide problem of autism, says Linda Lajterman, founder of Crossroads for Growth, Inc., but few people realize that New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the United States.
Of the millions of dollars that go to autism causes, most is used for research; very little goes to the families living with it now. Lajterman, a Registered Nurse and Certified Disability Management Specialist, founded Crossroads for Growth, Inc., a non-sectarian, non-profit organization to provide relief to New Jersey’s economically-challenged families and to help them receive therapeutic services for children with autism.
“Families struggle to obtain the necessary services for their autistic children and are constantly fighting with schools for proper placement and home programs,” Lajterman says. “Many generous individuals donate to autism causes, but most are likely unaware of how little of their money goes to help families. Though the funding need for autism research is vital, donors should be able to choose where their dollars will go: research for the future, or help for the families who need it now.”
Recent state legislation will soon make it possible for New Jersey parents to receive insurance coverage to help with the cost of therapy for their autistic children, but those treatments are expensive, and there is a cap on that coverage. Current standards of treatment recommend at least 25 hours of intensive one-to-one therapy – much more than schools can provide, and much more than insurance will cover. In addition, recent government spending cuts to the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities are putting a strain on other programs that parents have relied upon for even a small degree of financial help.
In addition to ABA therapy, Crossroads for Growth, Inc. provides professional care management, a collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors and evaluates the options and services required to meet the client’s health and human services needs. “We only provide services that are science-based — ABA therapy is our main service, although we offer a full spectrum of behavioral assessments and plan implementation,” Lajterman says. ABA is Applied Behavior Analysis, a technique which aims to improve socially important behaviors by using interventions based on principles of learning theory.
Despite operating on a limited budget, Crossroads for Growth, Inc. has helped several deserving families, like those of Araina Streeter-Colbert and Denise Diese, whose testimonials are featured on the Crossroads for Growth Web site.
Though Lajterman says the group is often passed over for grants and donations, she remains undaunted. “The CDC estimates the lifetime care of an autistic individual will cost 3.2 million dollars,” she says. “We need to do everything we can to help families find the care their children need and deserve right now.”
For more information about Crossroads for Growth, Inc., or to donate online, visit http://www.crossroadsforgrowth.org.
Contact: Linda Lajterman
# # #