Coverage for Autism Crucial for Families

Every weekday, Betsy Langston makes a 90-minute drive with her son to Myrtle Beach, S.C. Then, after about three hours there, she drives the same 90 minutes back home to Florence.

That's $20 a day in gas, not to mention the wear on her station wagon and herself. "It gets really tiring,'' Langston says. But the trip is well worth it, she adds. Pierce, 3, goes to a clinic in Myrtle Beach where he receives intensive therapy for his autism.

Pierce has made big strides for the past year through applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment. "He went from having only two words to now having spontaneous phrases,'' Langston says. "When we go out to eat, we can ask him what he wants.''

His meltdowns have decreased in severity. Before ABA, she says, "I was a prisoner of the house. I would have to wait till my husband came home to go shopping.''