[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Stuart Spielman, Esq., Senior Vice President, Advocacy
Stuart Spielman joined Autism Speaks in 2008 as senior policy advisor and counsel after a long legal career and years of advocacy as a volunteer. He assumed the role of senior vice president of advocacy in 2018 and leads Autism Speaks advocacy efforts.
Under Mr. Spielman’s leadership, Autism Speaks has played a pivotal role in ensuring more people with autism and their families can access the crucial services and supports they need. Over the past two decades, he has led or contributed to important initiatives and milestones including:
- The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Acts of 2014 and 2019 (Autism CARES) and earlier laws that authorize autism research, surveillance and training. Funding under these federal laws approaches $3.9 billion in total.
- Maryland’s Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the nation’s first Medicaid waiver for children with autism.
- Improved health insurance benefits for autism through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
- The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE), which allows people with disabilities to save money in special investment accounts without losing government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Mr. Spielman and his team advocate at the grassroots, state and federal levels to ensure the needs of the autism community are represented in policy. These efforts have translated to meaningful support for millions of people on the spectrum.
Mr. Spielman holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Law and a Masters of Laws in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. Mr. Spielman is based in Washington, D.C. He and his wife Mona have two adult sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum.
Via autism speaks
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.