Autism is the fastest growing disability in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A lack of medical insurance coverage for children with autism is putting a burden on many panhandle area families because insurance carriers are very picky about what they'll cover and how much they'll cover.
14 year old Michael Mooring has autism. His mother Lisa says his medication costs her hundreds of dollars every month. And while Mooring has insurance coverage, it's limited.
"It allows for a number of visits per year for like speech therapy or O.T. therapy or P.T. therapy and that's it. Once you meet that limit. Once you reach that limit it's the parents responsibility."
Mooring started the Northwest Texas Autism Network in honor of Michael to provide support for other families in the panhandle.
"With medications we've seen with some of our families that are of lower income when they switch jobs the insurance may not come in and maybe the child has medication that may cost 800 dollars for a month supply and she can't afford 800 dollars a month so the child goes without."
But help is out there, the United Coalition of Health Services assists parents by providing resources for families around the panhandle to help pay for expenses for the developmental disability. Any child up to age 21 can qualify, regardless of the parents income or insurance status.
"There are medicaid waiver programs for some of the children with autism. There's school services they can get that they have to ask if they need in home training or parent training." said parent case manager Juanita Keadle.
For more resources visit www.nwtxautismnetwork.org or call 888-892-2273. Pamphlets can be picked up at 301 S. Polk, suite 740 for a resource handbook.