[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Joins the New Hampshire Autism Community in Applauding Governor Lynch for Signing Connor’s Law
New Hampshire Becomes 22nd State to Enact Autism Insurance Reform Legislation
NEW YORK, NY (July 27, 2010) — Autism Speaks joined New Hampshire families, the New Hampshire Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the Autism Society of New Hampshire, and other autism advocacy organizations on Friday in applauding Governor John Lynch for enacting House Bill 569, also known as Connor’s Law. This bill requires health insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. HB 569 will go into effect on January 1, 2011.
Connor’s Law requires that a medical professional submit a treatment plan detailing the course of therapy. To be eligible for coverage, ABA therapy must be provided by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or by someone working under the supervision of such a professional. The bill also includes a $36,000 annual cap on applied behavioral analysis (ABA) for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) birth to age 12, and $27,000 for youth 13 to 21. Insurance coverage for non ABA related therapies does not have any age limits or monetary caps.
“This is a great day for the thousands of New Hampshire families that had been financially devastated by the lack of insurance coverage for necessary autism therapies,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “Legislatures across the country have introduced and passed bills that put an end to the discriminatory practices by insurance companies against children with an autism diagnosis. We thank New Hampshire’s legislators and Governor Lynch for having the courage to put families and their needs first.”
Connor’s law was sponsored in the New Hampshire House by Representative Suzanne Bucher.
“I am so pleased that families and children facing autism will have better access to the coverage and services they need,” said Representative Bucher.
In many states, insurers explicitly exclude coverage of these therapies from policies, which places a significant financial burden on families seeking to provide their children with necessary services. Twenty-one other states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin – have passed similar autism insurance reform bills. A bill in New York has been passed by the legislature and awaits enactment by the governor before becoming law.
“One of the biggest challenges that advocates faced was the need to educate legislators about the long term costs associated with a diagnosis of ASD. According to a study by Professor Michael Ganz of the Harvard School of Public Health, the lifetime cost of caring for a person with autism averages $3.2 million. As much as 90% of those costs lie in adult services and lost productivity during adulthood,” said Kirstin Murphy, Autism Speaks’ New Hampshire Advocacy Chair and Director of the New Hampshire Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders. “Treatment is the key to both a better life and to lowering long term societal cost.”
More With Autism Votes
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.