Like many other disabilities, they are lumped together and recognized in October. However, unlike many disabilities, autism is a disability that receives no insurance coverage from Fresno Unified for its employees. A parent, who is a district employee, must purchase a separate policy for his or her child, and hope that the financial cost does not place an unreasonable burden.
Perhaps it is time for trustees to recognize that proclamations are fine for a few lines on their agendas, but maybe, just maybe, they should stop the district, as an employer, from punishing employees for having children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
If the district would argue cost is a factor, then perhaps Fresno Unified’s Risk Management and Benefits Department would publicly share their numbers in the spirit of transparency. Otherwise, we are making a certain disabled population, not just marginalized, but not worthy of notice to begin with.
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I, along with others, will fight for children with autism “until all the pieces fit.”
Joe Barron, Fresno