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Shortage of Michigan autism specialists creating long wait times for kids

According to a report from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a lack of autism specialists in Michigan is creating long wait times for children to be diagnosed and treated.

Marianne Udow-Phillips, the group's director, explains that average waiting times for appointments can range anywhere from a month to two years. She hopes  that lawmakers will extend a temporary fund they created to train new specialists.

"We’re hoping that the Legislature realizes that there needs to be that long term commitment to helping more individuals get trained in this methodology so that sites really can provide the care that’s needed," Udow-Phillips said.

State laws passed in 2012 require insurance companies to cover autism diagnosis and treatments for children up to age 18.