The filmmaker behind a new documentary on vaccines and exposure to mercury will be in East Lansing this week to talk about his project. Eric Gladen's movie is called “Trace Amounts: Autism, Mercury, and the Hidden Truth.” He points to the use of a preservative containing mercury called thimerisol in vaccines as being the reason for the growth in cases of autism and other conditions.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD, across the nation. In Michigan, approximately 16,000 students and 50,000 individuals have ASD. Last April, Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed an Autism Insurance Reform law, making Michigan the 30th state to mandate that state-regulated insurance plans offer coverage for autism treatment and diagnosis. The law also provides a $15 million coverage fund for autism insurance providers.
Therapy for children with autism can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Until now, that kind of treatment was unaffordable for many parents of autistic children. But a new Michigan law will soon require insurance companies to cover autism diagnosis and treatment for children and teenagers. This law is also expected to create hundreds or perhaps thousands of new jobs for people who are trained to treat autistic children.