Brian Russell NFL: Help for Families with Autism is Vital

July 17, 2012

New studies reveal that families with autistic children face higher medical costs than those with chronic illnesses. Brian Russell, NFL star and autism research activist, hopes these findings will encourage wider support.

Seattle, Washington (PRWEB) July 17, 2012

While little is known about autism in comparison to other medical conditions, recent studies conducted by The University of Missouri suggest that it is one of the most expensive conditions for families to treat. A recent article from DailyRx observes these findings about the developmental disorder that is said to affect millions of children across America. The study results, published in in the July-September issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, have encouraged several members of the health care community to pay further attention to this costly condition. Brian Russell, former NFL player, remains outspoken about autism research support and hopes these new statistics will prompt medical and health insurance providers to offer better solutions for troubled families.

According to DailyRx, “statistics suggest that 1 out of every 110 children, 1.5 million people, born every year in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of an autism spectrum disorder.” While these numbers may be troubling, Russell notes that what is even more troubling is that the disorder is not selective — it can occur in any family, regardless of their financial status. The NFL star has seen many families affected by this condition and has offered longtime support to the Reece Trahan Autism Awareness Foundation, in an effort to provide financial assistance and greater control of this elusive disorder.

Nancy Cheak-Zamora, PhD, at the University of Missouri and colleague, Megan Tregnano recently worked to observe the financial impact of autism on families. They researched thirteen published studies “to examine the cost of health care, type of health care used, and how often health care was used.” What they found was remarkable — autistic children required three to six times more health care services compared to children with other illnesses such as diabetes or asthma. Even more troubling, families had lower access to care, due to restrictions set forth by insurance companies.

Brian Russell comments on these findings, “Families affected by autism have so much to deal with without increased health care costs. It is my hope that health care providers will step up and help cover the costs for these families.” However, Brian Russell´s and other supporters´ efforts may not have been in vain according to Dr. Glen Elliot, PhD.

Elliot told DailyRx that while there has been a limited history of insurance provider support of autism-related services, things are slowly changing. Brian Russell, adds, “Several states are legislating this, but changes are happening slowly, and people are in desperate need of services and care.”


Brian Russell is a former professional football player who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans. In 2003, he and Tony Parrish tied for the league lead in interceptions with nine. Brian Russell, a former professional athlete, is best known for his advocacy of education and healthy living. In addition, he is a spokesman for autism research and awareness. He is a proud spokesperson of the RT Autism Awareness Foundation — a group that aims to help further autism research and support for affected families.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebBrianRussellNFL/07/prweb9703219.htm

Source: prweb

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