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The Associated Press September 22, 2010, 12:44PM ET

Advocates want ND insurance coverage for autism

Advocates for children with autism say the North Dakota Legislature should require insurers to help pay for treatment.

Autism is a brain disorder that affects a person's ability to relate to other people. Experts say childhood treatment is important, but extensive therapy can cost more than $60,000 a year.

A North Dakota legislative committee is considering a bill to require the insurance plan for state workers to cover treatment for autism disorders. The panel will make a recommendation on the bill next month.

Dickinson police officer Nicholas Gates told the committee on Tuesday that North Dakota is one of the few states that hasn't considered requiring insurers to cover autism treatment. Gates has an 8-year-old son named Noah who is autistic.

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