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City Paper's recent series on autism ("When Joshua Lost His Words," Sept. 15; "The Bill for Alexander," Sept. 22; and "Joey Grew Up," Sept. 29) included figures on the numbers of children receiving in-home services from the state Department of Public Welfare that were mischaracterized by the department as including autistic children only. The figures actually also included children with other behavioral conditions. In fact, in the 2002-03 fiscal year, the state paid $104,227,099 to provide in-home assistance to 6,386 autistic children, for an average cost of $16,321. Along with an estimated $136 million spent on special education for autistic students, the total cost of autism services for children in Pennsylvania likely approximates $240 million.

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