Multimedia Todu Guam Articles Senator Introduces Legislation Supporting Autism and Animal Assisted Intervention

BILL 16-34 (COR)-  HUNTER'S LAW

Bill 16-34, known as Hunter's Law was introduced to mandate health insurance carriers to cover Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in their plans.  This is in line with Public Law 33-227 that will establish an Autism Center in conjunction with the DISID Building in the near future.

Hunter's Law will assist individuals with Autism on Guam.  According to research by the Autism Society, 1% of the world's population have ASD.  The national organization, Autism Speaks, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 1 in 68 children have ASD in the United States, while some states report that it is even higher with 1 in 45.

"As many of these undetectable diseases become more prevalent in our community, it is imperative that we continue to support the families and individuals who have these diseases such as ASD.  This legislation will provide the support financially and more importantly in healthcare treatment to ease the anxiety that these diseases may bring to the families,"  Sen. Rodriguez stated.

Link to Bill 16-34:  http://www.guamlegislature.com/Bills_Introduced_34th/Bill%20No.%2016-34%20(COR).pdf

 

BILL 17-34 (COR)-  ANIMAL ASSISTED INTERVENTION

Bill 17-34, known as the Animal Assisted Invervention (AAI) Act, will establish guidelines that will incorporate animals into the human experience.  AAI, specifically the use of therapy dogs, shows measurable improvements in the conditions of human patients in cancer treatment, ASD and post-traumatice stress disorder, to name a few.  Additionally, rescue dogs have contributed to the success of rescue missions especially during disasters.

The legislation for AAI will recognize the different levels of therapeutic dog support.  Animal-Assisted Activities is the beginner level for therapy work, while Assisted-Animal Therapy involves specific goals for the patient or client, usually involving a medical professional or therapist, and works with the dog-handler to ensure such goals are met.

"For far too long, many of our island's residents have suffered the devastating impacts of the inability to seek proper care for many issues.  The AAI Act will allow and open the doors of opportunity to ensure qualified patients or clients have an added tool in these animals to address the care they need to work toward living productive, healthy lives.  This tool will broaden the scope of therapy, thus expanding the positive outcomes for many individuals,"  Sen. Rodriguez shared.

Link to Bill 17-34: http://www.guamlegislature.com/Bills_Introduced_34th/Bill%20No.%2017-34%20(COR).pdf

For more information contact the office of Sen. Rodriguez at 649-8638/0511.

 

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