Lawsuit Filed to Protect the Rights of Nebraska Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

May 22, 2012

Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program filed a class action lawsuit last Friday in Lancaster County District Court over services provided to disabled children. 

James Goddard, a staff attorney for Nebraska Appleseed, says the suit was filed on behalf of two children who were denied necessary behavioral health treatment.  

He says the lawsuit relates to the Department of Health Human Services’ policy that children with problems such as autism can’t get services for it.  Goddard says for kids with these issues, not having access to the appropriate services can affect their development.

"Many pieces of research out there talk about the types of services that children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, need and can benefit from.  In some studies, you see children’s IQ actually increase.  So children that have issues like autism, if they get the right therapy early enough, they can actually go to school and present just like any other child.”

Goddard says it’s Nebraska Appleseed’s position that DHHS is required to provide these types of services under federal Medicaid law. 

Details on the lawsuit are available online at