Study says Okla needs more practitioners

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A pilot program has found Oklahoma doesn't have enough therapists and behavioral specialists to work with autistic children.

Thirty families were chosen for the autism two-year pilot project. Each could spend up to $12,360 a year on services for their autistic child.

Officials with the state Department of Human Services say there are so few providers of needed services the families only spent about $4,500 a year.

Of the 30 families selected 15 are from the Oklahoma City area and 15 are from the Tulsa area.

Autism is a developmental problem affecting a child's ability to interact and communicate with others. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in every 150 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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