The Honorable Joan Lenard is a United States Judge on the United District Court for the Southern District Court of Florida. Judge Lenard was appointed to the court by President William Clinton in 1995. On March 23, 2012, Judge Joan Lenard issued a ruling in the case of K.G. vs. Dudek. Her ruling in effect required the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to cover ABA therapy for children in the Medicaid program, when prescribed appropriately by medical personnel for children with autism. The Honorable Joan Lenard is an Autism Light for handing down this ruling that will benefit potentially 8,000 children with autism in Florida.
Judge Lenard said of this case regarding ABA therapy and Medicaid coverage, "This case, if not the most important, is one of the most important cases that I have ever heard (Source)." The Honorable Judge Joan Lenard is in the process of creating a formal opinion, but she issued the ruling in order to have an immediate effect on its implications for children needing ABA therapy. The ruling was praised by Autism Speaks.
In making her ruling, Judge Lenard said:
Plaintiffs have established through their expert witnesses that there exists in the scientific and medical peer-reviewed literature a plethora of meta-analyses, studies and articles that clearly establish ABA as an effective and significant treatment to prevent disability and to restore children to their best possible functional level and restore their developmental skills (Source).For more information on ABA therapy at the Autism Light blog you may wish to read Spotlight #1 on ABA Therapy or to search for all posts with the label ABA in them.
Other Articles: Here are some news articles on this ruling.
- Federal Judge Rules Medicaid Must Cover ABA (Autism Speaks)
- Judge Orders Medicaid to Cover Autism Treatment (Associated Press via Miami Herald)
- US Federal Judge: ABA Proven and Highly Effective Treatment of Children with Autism (Autism in New Brunswick Blog)
Special thanks to The Honorable Joan Lenard for making this ruling to benefit children with autism. She becomes the first judge to be recognized on Autism Light. Some judical rulings are appealed and overturned by a higher court, but others set a precedence that have far reaching implications for other jurisdictions. We hope the later is the case in this ruling that is a bright light for autism.
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