A hundred associations that deal with people with autism write to the Higher Institute of Health launching an alarm on the risk that “the right to care of thousands of autistic children” will be cut off. According to Istat, the associations highlight in a note, in schools from first grade to eighth grade there are 43,000 children and young people with autism spectrum disorders (Asd), at least a third of whom are serious. “An ISS research estimates that in 2018 one child aged 7-9 out of 74 was included in the ASD, a rapidly growing phenomenon”. In the letter-appeal addressed to the Institute, the associations and two trade unions of the public function warn of the risk that guideline no. 21 on autism will be worsened.
The point they explain is that “the new proposal at the end of 2022 effectively exempts local health authorities from the obligation of ‘early intensive treatment’, a decision that risks seriously reducing rehabilitation interventions for tens of thousands of children with Asd. Many of today they can obtain 25 hours of intervention a week, in consideration of the complexity of their condition and the strong need for support.But the management and qualification of personnel and the training of parents is the task of the local health authorities and, to obtain them, it is often necessary to contact the magistrate. The proposal to update the new guideline places all interventions on the same level and allows the local health authorities to choose those with the least cost, regardless of their greater or lesser effectiveness”, argue the organizations signing the letter. Hence the request to “stop a measure that would deprive thousands of children of the interventions that the international scientific community deems most effective and that would guarantee a higher quality of life for entire families over the years and also future savings, in terms of assistance, to state coffers”.