Idaho Center for Autism shuts down: Is insurance to blame?

Lana Bandoim's picture
Autism Center

The Idaho Center for Autism has announced it is shutting down and will not be able to continue to provide services in the future. The director Stephanie Spencer states problems continued to accumulate over the course of several years, and the center was no longer sustainable. Families are left with many questions in addition to the issue of finding another organization to help their loved ones.


The Idaho Center for Autism faced problems from several sources including insurance companies and the Department of Health and Welfare. In addition, the director noticed the impact of the recession on families seeking services at the center. The combination of these factors made it impossible for her to continue helping children with autism.

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Stephanie Spencer relied on a loan from a family member to keep the Idaho Center for Autism going, but the funds eventually ran out, and the center is now closed. She reveals that insurance companies are not forced to pay for autism treatment, so families are left with the financial burden. Problems with insurance companies are a common issue in many states, and Idaho is not the only area that suffers.


The center provided a variety of educational services for children with autism and gave them a treatment option. The issues with insurance and families’ finances meant that children were not receiving enough time in therapy. Stephanie Spencer believes that they deserved more than a couple of hours a week from the center. Some of the children were expelled from public schools, yet the state still required they receive an education. This left both the center and families in a difficult situation because of finances. Now, they are left with the question of how to proceed next and where to get autism therapy for their loved ones.

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Image: Public Domain/Pixabay


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