Watchdog Group: VA Needs to Improve Autism Services

A report from the Virginia legislature's watchdog group says the state does a poor job of providing services to people with autism.

According to the report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, state services lack coordination and public schools can't consistently meet the needs of autistic children.

The report also says there's late diagnosis of children with autism and poor early-intervention programs.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources Marilyn Tavenner says Virginia supports the report and her department is working to address the issues.

The report was released Monday during a meeting in Richmond. It was attended by parents seeking benefits for autistic children and insurance lobbyists gearing up to oppose the possibility of mandated insurance benefits that might include autism treatments.