Autism Speaks Lauds Congressional Approval of Landmark $7.5 Million Military Appropriation for Autism Research
Years of Advocacy Result in Legislation Creating First Department of Defense-Sponsored Medical Research Program for Autism
(NEW YORK, NY – September 26, 2006) – Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research, today praised Congress for including a $7.5 million line item for Department of Defense-funded autism research in the final Fiscal 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations bill.
The bill now goes to the President for his signature. This newly-created Department of Defense research program will complement the autism research funding already sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Each year the Department of Defense invests tens of millions of dollars in various medical research programs. In FY 2005, for example, the DOD funded breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer research initiatives. This appropriation measure marks the first time such spending has been directed toward research into autism, a disorder that now affects one in every 166 children.
Based on the most recent prevalence estimates, at least 4,600 children and minor dependents of active duty families have autism, and the cost of their treatment exceeds $200 million per year.
Autism Speaks has been advocating for military spending to support autism research for more than three years, beginning with the efforts of the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), the organization it merged with in February 2006. This initiative was also supported by several other leading autism organizations.
“This appropriation represents an historic moment for the autism community,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “We are succeeding in getting our elected officials to recognize the scope of the autism epidemic and the need for more money to effectively fight this battle in the laboratory.”
“Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure that their voices were heard on Capitol Hill,” said Ann Gibbons, a member of the Autism Speaks board of directors who has led the organization’s efforts on this issue. “We thank the members of Congress and their staff members who took the time to meet with us and listened to our urgent call for increased autism funding.”
New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, along with fellow co-chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus, Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, and Long Island Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, led the campaign for the Department of Defense funding in the House of Representatives.
In the Senate, Ohio Senator Mike DeWine joined with New York Senator Hillary Clinton, along with 16 of their fellow Senators, in support of this measure. It also enjoyed the support of both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Congressmen Bill Young of Florida and John Murtha of Pennsylvania.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 166 children, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism spectrum disorders; to increasing awareness of the nation’s fastest growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. The legislative agenda of Autism Speaks is to influence public policy and federal funding related to autism spectrum disorders. Autism Speaks is committed to working with other national and regional autism organizations to achieve this goal. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.