Sep-12-07 Governor Corzine Signs Bills On Autism
Governor Jon S. Corzine
September 12, 2007
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GOVERNOR CORZINE SIGNS BILLS ON AUTISM
West Windsor – Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed a package of seven bills relating to autism spectrum disorders. These disorders are often characterized by substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests.
“Today, we are enhancing New Jersey’s pioneer status in the fight against autism spectrum disorders by bolstering our arsenal of programs, training, education, and research,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “This is an opportunity for New Jersey to become a model for other states in researching the nature of autism and its causes as well as in treating those with these disorders.
“More importantly, through these initiatives, we will be enabling those impacted by autism spectrum disorders to function as independent, productive, and empowered individuals.”
The rate and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in New Jersey is disproportionately high. While experts estimate the national rate has increased to about 1 in 150 children, the incidence in New Jersey is approximately 1 in 95.
“With new studies showing New Jersey with the highest reported autism rates in the country, it is critically important that the state do all it can to help the growing number of individuals and families confronting autism spectrum disorders,” said Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts, Jr. (D-Camden) who championed the legislative effort to improve the detection, treatment and awareness of autism in New Jersey.
“For families whose loved ones are locked in the grasp of this disorder, today’s action sends a reassuring message of hope that New Jersey is working to do more to improve its safety net of services and care,” Roberts said.
“These measures will enable New Jersey to address the startling number of children being diagnosed with autism and they will allow us to extend a helping hand to countless autistic young adults and others who have aged out of the state’s special education system.”
“A diagnosis of autism or developmental disability presents real challenges for parents and caregivers,” said Senator Ellen Karcher (D-Mercer/Monmouth).
“While the medical community seeks to find answers to the causes of autism and developmental disability, states have an obligation to promote programs which help those living with the disability. These new lifesaving laws will help families deal with the hardships of caring for individuals with autism.”
“According to federal statistics, New Jersey has the highest number of autism cases in the nation,” said Senator Loretta Weinberg, (D-Bergen).
“We are still learning about the autism spectrum disorders, but while we are learning, we must be able to provide much-needed assistance to families living with autism. As the number of residents living with autism increases, we must have the resources in place to provide them with support programs and work to find ways to decrease the incidence of autism in New Jersey.”
The Governor signed A4055/S2558, providing for teacher training in awareness and instruction methods for students with autism and other developmental disabilities for candidates for teaching certificates, current teachers and paraprofessionals. The Commissioner of Education will develop recommendations to address a variety of issues including the characteristics of students with autism and other developmental disabilities; curriculum planning, assistive technology; and inclusive educational practices.
“In a state with high autism rates, it’s imperative that educators have the tools to recognize autism and help children with this confounding disorder,” said Assemblyman Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), a veteran teacher with a master’s in education. “Teachers are an untapped resource in this state’s growing efforts to help children and adults with autism.”
Other primary bill sponsors in the Assembly were: Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (District 37) and Assemblywoman Joan Voss (District 38). Primary Senate sponsors were: Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Ellen Karcher (District 12).
Governor Corzine also signed A4056/S2568, requiring the Early Intervention Program in the Department of Health and Senior Services to address the specific needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. These activities involve developing guidelines for health care professionals to use in evaluating infants and toddlers for autism, ensuring the timely referral by health care professionals of infants and toddlers suspected of being on the autism spectrum to the Early Intervention Program and collecting data on statewide autism screening, diagnosis, and intervention programs and systems.
“By establishing comprehensive guidelines for New Jersey pediatricians to use in the evaluation and referral of autistic children, we can ensure appropriate treatment for infants and toddlers as soon as possible,” said Assemblyman Herb Conaway, M.D. (D-Burlington/Camden). “For autistic children, early detection is the key to ensuring proper care.”
Other primary bill sponsors in the Assembly were: Assemblyman Michael Panter (District 12); Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (District 37) and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (District 6). Primary Senate sponsors were: Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Ellen Karcher (District 12)
Governor Corzine signed A4057/S2559, establishing the New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force in the Department of Human Services (DHS). The purpose of the task force is to study, evaluate, and develop recommendations relating to specific actionable measures to support and meet the needs of adults with autism. These include job training and placement, housing, and long-term care.
“New Jersey faces new challenges created by the rise in adults classified with autism including the need for job training and placement, housing and long-term care,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen/Essex). “It’s critical that we strengthen the community of support for adults living with this lifelong disease.”
Other primary Assembly sponsors were: Assemblywoman Joan Voss (District 38) and Assemblyman John McKeon (District 27). Primary sponsors in the Senate were: Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Ellen Karcher (District 12).
In addition, Governor Corzine signed S/698A4054, which makes changes to the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Infantile Autism, renaming it the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism.
“There are going to be new challenges created by a growing number of adults who are being classified with autism,” said Assemblywoman Joan Voss (D-Bergen). “The numbers clearly indicate that we need to step up our efforts to help the thousands of families in this state that have loved ones with autism disorders.”
Other primary sponsors in the Assembly were: Assemblyman Gary Schaer (District 36); and Assemblyman John McKeon (District 27). Primary sponsors in the Senate were: Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Joe Vitale (District 19).
Governor Corzine signed A4059/S2569, extending funding for autism medical research and treatment. The bill eliminates the five-year “sunset” for the $1 surcharge established under P.L.2003, c.144 for each motor vehicle fine and penalty imposed by the court, which is deposited in the “Autism Medical Research and Treatment Fund.” The fund provides the financial support funding for the grant and contract awards of the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism.
“More than ever, New Jersey needs to muster more attention and resources to help families, school districts, communities, and health care providers deal with the challenge of rising autism diagnosis rates,” said Assemblyman David Mayer (D-Gloucester/Camden).
Other primary Assembly sponsors were: Assemblywoman Joan Voss (District 38); Assemblyman Jim Whelan (District 2) and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (District 6). Primary Senate sponsors were Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Joseph Coniglio (District 38).
The Governor also signed A2306/S2723 requiring the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to maintain a registry of reported autism diagnoses. The DHSS, in consultation with the Department of Human Services, will maintain an up-to-date registry to include a record of all reported cases of autism that occur in New Jersey; each reported case of autism in which the initial diagnosis is changed, lost, or considered misdiagnosed; and any other information DHSS deems relevant and appropriate to conduct thorough and complete epidemiologic surveys of autism, to enable analysis of this problem, and to plan for and provide services to children with autism and their families.
“New Jersey has the nation’s highest reported rates of autism and this presents new challenges for families, schools and our state’s health-care network,” said John Assemblyman McKeon (D-Essex).
“This registry will serve as an invaluable tool for the state to monitor autism cases while ensuring that New Jersey continues to provide services to meet the needs of the state’s growing autism community.”
Other primary bill sponsors in the Assembly were Assemblyman Nelson Albano (District 1) and Assemblywoman Joan Voss (District 38). Primary sponsors in the Senate were: Senator Andrew Ciesla (District 10) and Senator Diane Allen (District 7).
Governor Corzine also signed A2291/S690, which establishes an Asperger’s Syndrome Pilot Initiative in the Department of Human Services. The initiative will provide vocational, educational and social training services to persons with Asperger’s Syndrome. This will be accomplished through community-based service sites which offer appropriate support; guidance and education that will enable these individuals to further their education achieve gainful employment and become broadly competent adults who are able to lead fulfilling lives.
“Asperger’s Syndrome was only recognized in the United States in 1994, 60 years after many European countries confirmed its existence,” said Assemblywoman Joan Voss (D-Bergen), whose adult son has Asperger’s.
“There are so many adults and young adults who were misdiagnosed over the years because there wasn’t a correct diagnosis for what was troubling them and there were no programs to meet their needs. This pilot program will be a model to help people with Asperger’s acquire the socialization skills they need so they can enjoy productive and happy lives.”
Other primary bill sponsors in the Assembly were: Assemblyman Robert Gordon (District 38) and Assemblyman Eric Munoz (District 21). Primary sponsors in the Senate were: Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Ellen Karcher (District 12).
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.