Autism Speaks™ Leadership Joins House Co-Sponsors in Announcing Introduction of Landmark Autism Treatment Bill
Executive Committee Member Jon Shestack and Actor/advocate Bradley Whitford Speak in Support of Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act (EPIAA)
WASHINGTON, DC (April 17, 2007) — Leadership of Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading autism advocacy organization, joined members of Congress on Capitol Hill today to announce the introduction of the Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act (EPIAA) in the House of Representatives.
Autism Speaks Executive Committee Member Jon Shestack and actor and long-time autism advocate Bradley Whitford applauded Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Chip Pickering (R-MS), House co-sponsors of the bill, for their leadership. The bill was introduced in the Senate last month by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Wayne Allard (R-CO).
The EPIAA would dramatically expand federal funding for life-long services for people with autism, authorizing approximately $350 million in new federal funding – above and beyond all existing federal dollars – for key programs related to treatments, interventions and services for both children and adults with autism.
Among the EPIAA’s key elements are the authorization of a task force – which will include significant representation from the autism community – that will report to Congress and the Executive Branch on the state of evidence-based biomedical and behavioral treatments and services for both children and adults with autism, including identifying gaps in applied research on such treatments, interventions and services. It would also mandate a GAO study on service provision and financing.
“While we wait for science to find the answers that we need, there are over a million affected children and adults who need help now,” said Shestack.
“The EPIAA will expand and intensify the federal commitment to serving the needs of those touched by autism, through spending on treatments, interventions, and services for children and adults. We are very grateful to Reps. Doyle and Smith – chairs of the Autism Caucus — and Congressmen Engel and Pickering for bringing this important legislation to the House of Representatives.”
“I want to commend our government leaders for championing legislation that finally offers a lifeline to the many families struggling with autism who are desperately trying to keep their families afloat,” said Whitford. “I have watched the rate of autism diagnosis grow from 1 in 2500 to 1 in 150, according to the latest CDC figures. We must act now.”
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 150 children in the United States, 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 increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric, and Chairman, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations. 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.