Autism Speaks | Families Affected By Autism Call On Senate Committee To Advance Bill Ending Healthcare Discrimination Against Children With Autism | Feb. 9, 2009 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Families Affected By Autism Call On Senate Committee To Advance Bill Ending Healthcare Discrimination Against Children With Autism

RICHMOND, VA (February 9, 2009) — Parents of children with autism and other advocates gathered today at the State Capitol, calling on members of the Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee to vote to advance Senate Bill 1260 for a vote by the full Senate.  The bill would end insurers’ discriminatory policies by requiring them to provide coverage for medically necessary treatments for children with autism.  
Last week, in a moment of bitter irony for many families whose children are unable to speak, the members of a subcommittee of the Virginia House Commerce and Labor Committee failed to vote for or against House Bill 1588, the companion bill to SB 1260.  The committee’s inaction put the onus on the Senate to move this critical legislation forward.

“Last week’s decision by the members of the House Commerce and Labor subcommittee 1 to simply sit on their hands was a stunning disappointment for families from all over the Commonwealth who have been sharing their stories of financial devastation and desperate need of treatment for their children,” said Elizabeth Emken, Vice President of Government Relations at Autism Speaks.  “We join the Virginia autism community in calling on the Senate to step up and lead on this critical issue.”  

Sponsored by Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27), SB 1260 would require private health insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.  Coverage would be subject to an inflation adjusted maximum benefit of $36,000 annually.  The bill, which applies only to fully-funded group health plans governed by state law, includes diagnosis and coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.  

“Families simple cannot afford to go it alone anymore in providing their children with medically-necessary services to treat autism,” said Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel.  “I call on my Senate colleagues on the Commerce and Labor Committee to do the right thing, to take up this charge, and to help these families provide the evidence-based care their children need and deserve.”

In November, every elected official on the governor’s Mandated Benefits Commission voted to advance the bill to this year’s General Assembly.

Most states do not require private insurance companies to cover even essential autism treatments and services.  In the absence of coverage, families often pay as much as they can out-of-pocket for services that can cost upwards of $50,000 per year.  In the process, many risk their homes and the educations of their unaffected children – essentially mortgaging their entire futures.

“Virginia families are stunned and outraged by the House Subcommittee’s purposeful inaction despite our eight month education and grassroots campaign efforts,” said Pat DiBari, Chapter Advocacy Chair for Autism Speaks.  “We still deserve and demand a vote in the Virginia House and we hope the Senate will be more receptive to families, doctors, educators and others touched by autism in Virginia.”

Eight states – Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas — have enacted autism insurance reform legislation.  Several other state legislatures will vote on similar legislation during the current session.


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.

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