A judge is ordering a state-funded Los Angeles treatment center to resume offering an autism therapy some consider experimental.

The Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center stopped offering a therapy known as “DIR” or Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based treatment last year. The reason: a change in California law prohibited state-funded centers from using “experimental treatments.”

In response, a group of families sued the center in January alleging that no longer offering the therapy is a violation of a state law intended to prevent institutionalization. The families say DIR is the only treatment to work with their children.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Now a judge has sided with the families, at least temporarily, issuing a preliminary injunction that calls on the regional center to begin funding DIR therapy once again, according to an attorney for the families.

The Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center is believed to be the only facility in California to discontinue DIR as a result of the change in state law. The center provides state-funded autism therapy for children residing in certain Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Read more stories like this one. Sign up for Disability Scoop's free email newsletter to get the latest developmental disability news sent straight to your inbox.