Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) and Assemblyman Dave McDonough (R-North Merrick) recently attended Autism Speaks’ annual “Long Island Walk Now for Autism” at Jones Beach State Park. Over 30,000 people participated in the walk to raise money for research that aims to find a cure for autism spectrum disorders.

Senator Fuschillo thanked the walkers for their efforts and congratulated Merrick resident Michael Giangregorio, who served as Chairman of the Walk, on putting together a successful event. According to Autism Speaks, the walk raised over $1.3 million for autism research.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Patients typically have difficulties interacting with others, communicating both verbally and non-verbally, and engaging in leisure or play activities.

Senator Fuschillo has been a strong supporter of families with autism and is sponsoring legislation which would enable individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment. The legislation would save tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses spent by families caring for individuals with autism and address insurance companies’ refusal to cover costs for autism treatments and therapies. Both the Senate and Assembly have passed the legislation, which is expected to be approved by Governor Cuomo when it reaches his desk.

Senator Fuschillo (left center) and Assemblyman McDonough (right) are pictured as they congratulate Walk Chair Michael Giangregorio (right center) and co-chair Dan Ryan (left) on another successful walk to raise funds for autism research.