Spectrum Super Star April 2015

CONGRATS to this month's Spectrum Super Star!

Paul Silver

We are happy to recognize Paul Silver as our April 2015 Spectrum Super Star of the month!

Paul SilverPaul is such an example of determination and self-advocacy making a difference !

Paul says: I support Ava’s Law because I believe it will be the foundation of treating Autism in Georgia. To me it is an outrage that a person with autism can’t be treated because the big insurance companies refuse to pay for it.  I was diagnosed at age eight.   When I heard about Ava’s Law it was in 2013 when I saw Ava’s mother, Anna Bullard, on Channel 11 News discussing it. The Channel 11 News said to contact your state representative, which I did. I emailed  both my state house representative and my state senator. I only heard back from my house representative saying that he could not support the bill at that time. Toward the end of the 2013 Session, Ava’s Law went  to a Mandate Committee, which said it could not support. OUTRAGEOUS!

Finally in November of 2013, I met Anna Bullard and told her I was ready to fight with her because I had Autism. Around that same time I reconnected with my Autism Resource Teacher, Ms. Deborah Khuen-Browning, who told me about the adult support group at Spectrum. I was happy to join the group, not realizing it was the same Autism Support Group that I had been a part of when Spectrum was just starting back in 1998. I made friends there who I could connect with. In February 2014, I was ready to go to the State Capitol and I came with two friends from Spectrum. Later in the 2014 session Ava’s Law was passed by the State Senate, but failed to come to a vote in the State House. This year in the 2015 session, I was prepared to get Ava’s Law passed.

On Autism Awareness Day at the Capitol I stood with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, a few key state senators including Senator Charlie Bethel,  Judith Ursitti from Autism Speaks, Anna Bullard and her daughter Ava.  A few days later the state senate passed the bill.  The bill was stalled in the house insurance committee.  Late last week a compromise  was made between Senator Bethel and House Member Richard Smith, chair of house insurance committee, adding Ava's law language to House bill 429 which passed the Senate on 3/31. We just need the governor to sign and  autism insurance coverage will now be a reality in GA! I have  learned a lot about myself and better ways to be a self-advocate.

Thank you Paul for your support of Spectrum!