Autism Speaks | Federal Report To Congress Confirms Urgent Need For Reauthorization Of The Combating Autism Act Of 2006 | Jan. 11, 2011 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

Federal Report To Congress Confirms Urgent Need For Reauthorization Of The Combating Autism Act Of 2006

Proposed National Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders a Model for Fiscal Responsibility

New York, NY (January 11, 2011) – A Report to Congress issued by the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (CAA) resulted in significant advances in the understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as progress in identifying both best practices and the need for more supports and services. Citing the report, officials from Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, again called on Congress to pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) swiftly at the beginning of 2011 to avoid a disruption of important autism research, intervention and surveillance programs that will sunset with the original CAA on September 30. The reauthorization, S. 404, was introduced at the end of the 2010 Congressional session by Senators Christopher Dodd (CT) and Robert Menendez (NJ) and currently has the support of more than 35 autism, academic and other advocacy organizations.

Federal efforts authorized by the CAA have led to improved understanding of the causes and treatment of ASD, reliable prevalence estimates, and large-scale data collection and sharing efforts that are empowering researchers and health practitioners with knowledge not available only a few years ago. The Report states that a continued rigorous focus on identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for ASD will yield innovative treatment and prevention strategies. Services and supports programs across several Federal agencies are actively identifying best practices and implementing programs to increase quality of life for people with ASD across their lifespan.

“The Combating Autism Act of 2006 (CAA) was a clear statement by the U.S. government on the scope of the public health emergency posed by the growing prevalence of autism and the lack of adequate research, effective treatments, and services to address this crisis,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “As the Report to Congress states, significant advances have been made, but continued intensive focus is essential to solving the puzzle of autism. We must build upon this important progress until we have found the answers we need.”

Among the key provisions of the CARA is the creation of a National Institute of Autism Spectrum Disorders Research (NIASD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the federal government’s medical research agency. This single, unified entity would bring all federally-funded autism research activities under one roof and foster strategic coordination – and improved efficiency — across the many lines of scientific inquiry required to find the answers needed about autism. 

“Autism Speaks is seeking to include unprecedented statutory language for transparency and accountability in the use of taxpayer funds to pursue an intensified effort to address the urgent health crisis that autism has become,” added Bell. “We believe that these measures are a model for fiscal responsibility and will receive bipartisan support.”

Reauthorization through enactment of CARA would also continue the work of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a mechanism for coordinating efforts on autism research across federal agencies, as well as the mandate for a strategic plan for autism research that is updated annually. In addition, CARA would continue to hold the federal government accountable in its efforts to improve the lives of persons with ASD through research. Through CARA, physical and behavioral health intervention networks would continue the development of clinical care practice guidelines, clinician training and research on effective treatments. CARA funding would augment support for the University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disability (UCEDD) to promote training and dissemination of best practices in ASD screening, diagnosis and treatment, and would support research on autism’s causes, prevention, treatment and cure.

“The Combating Autism Act has made possible important research that has greatly improved our understanding of autism, including the study of its potential causes, enhanced diagnostic methods and additional treatment options,” stated Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., who is also an IACC member. “Additional funding through the reauthorization of CAA is essential to further our understanding of the causes of autism, how multiple risk factors may be at play, and to translate that knowledge into effective treatments to alleviate the symptoms that limit an individual’s potential for a productive and independent life.” 

The CAA was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 19, 2006 following unanimous votes in the House and Senate. It made autism a public health priority by authorizing nearly $1 billion of federal spending over five years on biomedical and treatment research on autism and requiring the development of an overall strategic plan for the intensification, expansion and better coordination of federal efforts designed to help persons with autism and their families.

Significant advances under the CAA included: identification of several autism susceptibility genes, leading to increased drug discovery efforts and earlier detection methods; improved autism screening methods and universal screening recommendations; development of effective early intervention methods for toddlers with autism; and best practice standards of care for medical and behavioral health clinicians as well as new treatments for commonly associated medical conditions, such as sleep and gastrointestinal disorders.


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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