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Oct 30, 2011 When I arrived home smiling broadly after last year's Art's For Autism Gala my teenager did not forgive me for not taking her. This year I brought my daughter, Elizabeth. The fashion show, the models, the beautiful clothes were right up her alley. The autistic kids taking the stage to perform blew us both away. It is a fundraiser like no other. What a great event for the Northern Virginia Autism Society. Next year, Elizabeth wants to be a model at the program.

For parents and others navigating the education maze, on November 3, Attorney Pete Wright and Dr. Ruth Heitin are teaching a full day seminar on the ins and outs of the IEP process at George Mason University, Fairfax Campus. Registration information and directions can be found on www.asnv.org. Your day with Wright and Heitin includes a Continental Breakfast, Lunch, two Books and two CD ROMs, all focused on advocating for and educating special needs children.

On the legislative front, Governor McDonnell signed the Autism Insurance Reform Bill into law on May 6, 2011. The bill will cover children diagnosed with autism from ages 2-6 (but can continue after age 6), for an annual maximum benefit of $35,000. Amendments that the Governor placed on the bill will add a licensure of Board Cerftified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) in Virginia by the Board of Medicine.

The Autism Society of Virginia is sponsoring free workshops on this legislation. The focus will be on how families can respond, and beat, a denial letter. Call The Autism Society of Northern Virginia at 703-495-8444 for more information.

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