TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — State leaders visited the Wabash Valley on Thursday to learn how Indiana can support Hoosiers with autism.

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch visited the Harsha Autism Center in Terre Haute. Crouch chairs the Intellectual and Developmental Disability task force. In a roundtable discussion, the Harsha Autism Center shared how applied behavioral analysis is helping children with autism.

The center also discussed their concerns about potential changes to Medicaid reimbursement rates.

“Most of the centers in the area have children that are on the waitlist to get services, so it’s already difficult to get those services and if there’s a Medicaid rate drop, then it will be harder to find staff and to provide the services that we already are providing,” Mel Kirchner, Director of Harsha Autism Center said.

“There’s a shortage of therapists to be able to use this kind of ABA therapy and so in order to be able to hire those therapists and have them, and treat more children with autism, they need to be sure they’re getting that kind of reimbursement that allows them to do that so that is a big part of the discussion moving forward,” Crouch said.

Indiana state Senator Jon Ford was also present for the roundtable discussion.