Archived | Washington Report Archive: Autism Speaks Advocacy | Circa April 17, 2007 #NotAnAutisticAlly


April 17, 2007
Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearings on Funding the Combating Autism Act 

On the afternoon of April 17, the Senate subcommittee responsible for funding implementation of the Combating Autism Act held a hearing on “Combating Autism: A Coordinated Response.”

Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright, along with actor and long-time autism advocate Bradley Whitford, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

They urged the subcommittee to provide $168 million in to fund the Combating Autism Act (CAA), the full amount authorized by the bill for Fiscal Year 2008. The CAA is the landmark law enacted last year authorizing $920 million in federal funding over the next five years to fight autism through biomedical research, surveillance, awareness and early identification. This figure represents a fifty percent increase in the Department of Health and Human Services spending on autism.

Mr. Wright told the subcommittee, “The autism crisis demands a focused, coordinated, and accountable response by our public health agencies, similar to the federal response to the AIDS crisis in the 1990s, with line-item appropriations for autism intervention, surveillance and research tied to a strategic plan.”

bob wright, brad whitford
Bob Wright, left, testifies before a senate subcommittee as Brad Whitford looks on

“The unanimous passage of the Combating Autism Act by both houses of Congress can be an historic turning point,” Whitford told the Senators. “Now the burden falls on you, on this subcommittee, to turn Congress’ promise on autism into reality.”


April 17, 2007
Landmark Autism Treatment Bill Introduced in the U.S. House 

The House introduction of the “Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act” (EPIAA), was announced at a press conference on April 17 on Capitol Hill.

The bill is sponsored by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Chip Pickering (R-MS). The same bill was introduced in the Senate last month by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Wayne Allard (R-CO). 

From left, Jon Shestack, Brad Whitford and Rep. Chris Smith

The EPIAA would authorize approximately $350 million in new federal funding for key programs related to treatments, interventions and services for both children and adults with autism.

U.S. Senate. On Tuesday afternoon, Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright and actor Bradley Whitford will testify before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. They will advocate for funding to implement the Combating Autism Act of 2006. 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 

On the morning of April 18, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, House Speaker Dennis O’Brien (R-Philadelphia County) will announce his introduction of a bill to require an appropriate level of health insurance coverage for autism-related care and services.

In addition to helping Pennsylvania families, this landmark legislation will serve as a model for other states across the country. Autism Speaks co-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright, along with actor Joe Pantoliano, of The Sopranos, will join Speaker O’Brien for this important occasion. Pennsylvanians — please consider coming to this exciting event! (Capitol Rotunda, 9:45 AM.)



March 20, 2007


Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act of 2007 Announced

Senator Clinton shaking hands with Bob Wright.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) announced the introduction of the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act of 2007 (EPIAA), landmark legislation that would dramatically expand federal funding for life-long services for people with autism. The announcement took place on Autism Speaks’ annual Hill Day, when volunteers from across the country who are in Washington, D.C., for Autism Speaks’ national leadership conference, meet with their Represenatives and Senators and request their support on important legislation.


The “Autism Community” is not the Autistic Community. The Autism Community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about Autism comes from the non=Autistic “Autism Community.”


March 2, 2007
U.S. Senate Designates April “National Autism Awareness Month”


The U.S. Senate adopted a resolution on Feb. 13 designating April 2007 as “National Autism Awareness Month.” The resolution reflects the Senate’s recognition of the autism epidemic, noting the CDC’s new prevalence statistic of 1 in 150, and a commitment to raising awareness within the general public. 

April has traditionally been Autism Awareness Month, recognized and promoted nationally by the autism community. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) introduced the resolution with co-sponsors Sens. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

This is the third such resolution Sen. Hagel has introduced in his push for improved research, treatment and support for autism—particularly in light of the recent prevalence studies published by the CDC.

“This resolution recognizes the importance of autism awareness,” Hagel said.

“The prevalence of autism among children remains high, while the causes of autism are poorly understood and there is no cure. It is critical to support research and improve treatments of autism that will foster the health and well-being of autistic individuals.

”The resolution echoes Autism Speaks’ commitment to research, awareness and support, “designating April 2007 as ‘National Autism Awareness Month’ and supporting efforts to increase funding for research into the causes and treatment of autism and to improve training and support for individuals with autism and those who care for individuals with autism.”



110th Congress 1st Session

S. Res

Designating April 2007 as “National Autism Awareness Month” and supporting efforts to increase funding for research into the causes and treatment of autism and to improve training and support for individuals with autism and those who care for individuals with autism.

Whereas autism is a developmental disorder that is typically diagnosed during the first 3 years of life, robbing individuals of their ability to communicate and interact with others;

Whereas autism affects an estimated 1 in every 150 children in the United States;

Whereas autism is 4 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls;


Campaign for Combating Autism Act and D.O.D. Appropriations Continues 

Congressmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) this week asked their fellow members of the House of Representatives to sign on to two letters seeking federal funding for autism activities.

The first letter seeks $168 million in fiscal 2008 for autism research, surveillance and services in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill. This funding is consistent with the recommendations of the Combating Autism Act.

The second letter  requests $15 million for autism research in the Department of Defense Appropriations bill.

The Combating Autism Act “authorizes appropriations,” but the actual funding to implement the law will be established by appropriations legislation developed by the House and Senate Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations. 


Jan. 26, 2007


Legislative Priorities for the Current Congress


During the coming year in Congress
, Autism Speaks will work to build on the victories of 2006, and to break new legislative ground. 

Last year, there were two significant legislative victories for the autism community, made possible by the hard work and dedication of autism group leaders, committed members of Congress, and the many parents and other advocates who made their voices heard. 

First was the enactment in December of the Combating Autism Act
(S. 843), which has been described by Washington insiders as the most comprehensive disease-specific legislation ever enacted, and a genuine declaration of war on autism by the federal government.

The Combating Autism Act authorizes nearly $1 billion over the next five years to combat autism through research, screening, early detection and early intervention. 

Second was getting Congress to include $7.5 million specifically for autism research in the FY 2007 Defense Appropriations bill. These funds can be used for biomedical and other research aimed at finding the cause(s) and effective treatments for autism for the benefit of affected military families and the community at large. 

2007 Legislative Priorities 

For the first session of the 110th Congress, Autism Speaks’ legislative goals are: 

1. Implementation of the Combating Autism Act . To seek full implementation of the Combating Autism Act, including necessary appropriations.

2. Appropriations for Autism Research through the Department of Defense . To secure a specified level of funding dedicated to autism research in the FY 2008 Defense Appropriations bill.


3. Autism Services Legislation . To work with Congress to develop and secure passage of a law to improve access to affordable autism treatment and services.


Jan. 5, 2007


New Congress Convenes


The new (110th) Congress convened on Thursday, January 4, 2007, with Democrats controlling both the House and Senate for the first time since 1993 . In the House, there will be 233 Democrats and 202 Republicans.

In the Senate there will be 49 members of each party, but two Independents will align with the Democrats to give them majority status. Thus, Democrats will chair, and constitute a majority of, each House and Senate committee and subcommittee. In addition, they will be able to determine which legislation will be considered by the full House and Senate, effectively controlling the congressional agenda.

However, due to the very narrow majority margin in the Senate, and the rules of that body, the Senate will nonetheless have to work on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation. 

Here are a few of the items on Autism Speaks’ legislative agenda: 

Appropriations for autism activities. The Combating Autism Act “authorizes appropriations,” but the actual funding to implement the law will be established by appropriations legislation developed by the House and Senate Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations. In the 110th Congress, that House subcommittee will be chaired by David Obey (D-WI), and the corresponding Senate subcommittee will be chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). 

Autism Speaks will be working to ensure that adequate funding is provided to carry out the activities of the Combating Autism Act. In addition, we will once again work to get funding specifically allocated for autism research in the Department of Defense Appropriations bill. 

Autism services bill. Autism Speaks is committed to seeking federal legislation that will enhance the accessibility and affordability of treatment and services for people with autism. We will be working with interested members of Congress to develop and advance such legislation.


December 19, 2006
President Bush Signs the Combating Autism Act of 2006

Laura Bush stands by President George W. Bush as he signs S. 843, the Combating Autism Act of 2006, in the Oval Office Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006. White House photo by Eric Draper 

President George W. Bush signed the Combating Autism Act of 2006 on December 19, 2006. The Combating Autism Act was passed by the House on Wednesday, December 6, by a voice vote. The following day, the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent. 


The Combating Autism Act authorizes nearly $1 billion over the next five years to combat autism, increasing federal spending on autism by at least 50%. The bill includes provisions relating to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with autism spectrum disorders, and expands and intensifies biomedical research on autism, including an essential focus on possible environmental causes. 

In a statement released today, Pres. Bush said:

“For the millions of Americans whose lives are affected by autism, today is a day of hope. The Combating Autism Act of 2006 will increase public awareness about this disorder and provide enhanced federal support for autism research and treatment.

By creating a national education program for doctors and the public about autism, this legislation will help more people recognize the symptoms of autism. This will lead to early identification and intervention, which is critical for children with autism.

I am proud to sign this bill into law and confident that it will serve as an important foundation for our Nation’s efforts to find a cure for autism.” 


December 13, 2006


Combating Autism Act Ready for President’s Signature

As reported last week, the Combating Autism Act was passed by the House on Wednesday, December 6, by a voice vote. The following day, the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent. The bill was presented to the President on Monday, December 11, and now awaits his signature, which is expected within the next ten days. 

The Combating Autism Act authorizes nearly $1 billion over the next five years to combat autism, increasing federal spending on autism by at least 50%. The bill includes provisions relating to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with autism spectrum disorders, and expands and intensifies biomedical research on autism, including an essential focus on possible environmental causes


December 7, 2006


U.S. Senate Follows House in Passing Combating Autism Act; Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks Applaud Approval

Leadership of Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now today praised members of the U.S. Senate for swift passage of the Combating Autism Act (S. 843), one day after the bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation now moves to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

The measure authorizes nearly $1 billion over the next five years to combat autism through research, screening, early detection and early intervention. 


December 5, 2006
House and Senate Votes Expected This Week on The Combating Autism Act

The Combating Autism is expected to come to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote on Dec. 6, 2006. The bill authorizes nearly $1 billion over the next five years to combat autism through research, screening, early detection and early intervention. 
The new legislation will increase federal spending on autism by at least 50 percent. It includes provisions relating to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with autism spectrum disorders, and expands and intensifies biomedical research on autism, including an essential focus on possible environmental causes. 

The bill is endorsed by the major national autism organizations, including Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now, and the Autism Society of America. 

The House is expected to approve the bill on Wednesday, Dec. 6, and the Senate is expected to take up and approve the House-passed bill on Thursday, Dec. 7. The Combating Autism Act will then be ready for the President’s signature, which is expected.


Note/Warning:

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 workIn 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.




Explore Autistic History


Explore Autistic History


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