[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
STATEMENT: Steinberg on Autism Medi-Cal Coverage
(Sacramento) – California Senate leader Darrell Steinberg issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) that autism therapy, also known as applied behavior analysis, will be covered by Medi-Cal:
“Today’s announcement cements the original vision of SB-946 by ensuring that all kids, regardless of their insurance status, will have access to life-changing treatment. At the time, we recognized that SB-946 was a significant advance, but an incomplete advance. The circle has been completed.”
DHCS is set to have a formal meeting at the end of the month to develop their implementation plan. The plan is expected to include treatments and therapies for all Californians with autism ages 21 years and younger, including those who previously had coverage under the Healthy Families program. The plan is also expected be retroactive to July 1, 2014.
The announcement came as the California Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders was hearing testimony on workforce training and job opportunities for Californians with autism. Before the packed hearing room in the Capitol, Senator Steinberg relayed the announcement to applause from those attending the hearing.
Senator Steinberg authored SB 946 in 2011, requiring private health plans and insurance companies to provide coverage for behavioral health treatment for individuals with autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Estimates suggest that 8,500 children have benefitted from the successful legislation since it came into effect in July 2012, while the California Department of Insurance estimates annual taxpayer savings of up to $200 million in intervention costs from regional centers and special education programs.
Autism is the nation’s most rapidly growing serious developmental disability, as the number of those living with autism in the United States is 300 percent higher than it was in 2005. Nearly one in every 50 children in U.S. children exhibits signs of autism spectrum disorders. Research shows that early behavioral intervention therapies improve brain functions, promote higher cognitive functions and reduce self-injurious behaviors for a significant number of individuals with autism Spectrum disorders.
More With Autism Insurance Reform
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.