The California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism (PDF Avail.) | 2008 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

The California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism

The Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism was established by the California Legislature in 2005 without a single dissenting vote. The resolution creating it received strong bipartisan support. Its goal is to have direct impact on the needs of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. ]Authored by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) and supported by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), the resolution (SCR 51), creates a sixteen member Commission representing parents of children with autism, the public and private sector, educators, physicians, and public health officials. 

Autism Facts

  • Autism is characterized by language delays or other communication problems, poor or limited social skills and repetitive, rigid and other unusual behaviors.
  • Autism refers to a spectrum of disorders with a wide range of symptoms that vary from mild to severe.
  • Once considered a rare disorder, today autism is estimated to affect as many as 1 in every 150 children.
  • A child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes.
  • Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls, and occurs in children of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. It is more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric aids combined.
  • A significant number of symptoms of autism are present by 18 months of age or even earlier. However, children are typically not diagnosed until 3 to 4 years of age, or later.
  • Research indicates that early identification and intervention can result in significant positive outcomes for many children with autism.

PASSED THE SENATE SEPTEMBER 7, 2005 PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 22, 2005 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 22, 2005 AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 5, 2005 INTRODUCED BY Senator Perata (Coauthors: Senators Ashburn, Battin, Bowen, and Cedillo) (Coauthors: Assembly Members Aghazarian, Arambula, Baca, Bass, Benoit, Berg, Bermudez, Blakeslee, Bogh, Calderon, Canciamilla, Chan, Chavez, Chu, Cogdill, Cohn, Coto, Daucher, De La Torre, DeVore, Dymally, Emmerson, Evans, Frommer, Garcia, Goldberg, Hancock, Jerome Horton, Shirley Horton, Houston, Huff, Jones, Karnette, Keene, Klehs, Koretz, La Malfa, La Suer, Laird, Leno, Leslie, Levine, Lieber, Liu, Matthews, Maze, Montanez, Mountjoy, Mullin, Nakanishi, Nation, Nava, Negrete McLeod, Nunez, Oropeza, Parra, Pavley, Plescia, Richman, Sharon Runner, Ruskin, Saldana, Salinas, Spitzer, Strickland, Torrico, Tran, Umberg, Vargas, Villines, Walters, Wolk, Wyland, and Yee) JUNE 8, 2005 Relative to autism spectrum disorders. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SCR 51, Perata Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. This measure would establish, until November 30, 2007, the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. The measure would require the commission to report related findings and recommendations to the Governor and to the Legislature no later than September 30, 2007. WHEREAS, Autism and autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, are neurodevelopmental disorders of unknown etiology that may cause significant impairments in language, communications, social interactions, abnormalities in behaviors, and other physical manifestations; and WHEREAS, Autism spectrum disorders are abnormalities of brain development and function that are typically diagnosed during the first three years of life, are four times more likely to occur in males than females, and impact all segments of California's population regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other factors; and WHEREAS, Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in California. Presently, one out of every 166 children is afflicted with some form of autism spectrum disorder; and WHEREAS, The State Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has established that California's autism caseload increased by 634 percent from 1987 to the end of 2002. In the four years between 1998 and 2002, the total number of persons with autism served by the regional centers had more than doubled and had reached 20,377. Presently, there is a net increase of approximately 3,000 persons with autism added to the DDS service delivery system annually; and WHEREAS, The percentage increase in the number of individuals with autism who received services from DDS during the first quarter of 2005 more than tripled the percentage increase in the number of individuals for the three other primary types of developmental disability combined; and WHEREAS, At present, approximately 77 percent of all individuals with autism served by DDS are under the age of 18 years; and WHEREAS, The State Department of Education reported that in the 1992-93 school year, there were 1,982 students enrolled with autism in grades K-12, while in 2004, the number of students with autism had increased to 21,948; and WHEREAS, The number of students with autism enrolled in grades K-12 has increased over 1,000 percent during the past 22 years; and WHEREAS, The State Department of Education reports that nearly every part of California has seen a doubling of the incidence of students with autism in grades K-12 over the past four years alone; and WHEREAS, The number of students with autism in proportion to the total student enrollment, and also in proportion to students enrolled in special education, has more than quadrupled during the last nine years; and WHEREAS, The State Department of Education reports that not only are there drastically more K-12 students afflicted with autism, but the students with autism comprise a significantly greater proportion of the special education population; and WHEREAS, The economic impact of autism in the United States is more than $90 billion annually and is expected to more than double in the next decade; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism is hereby established to study and investigate issues, including, but not limited to, the early identification and intervention of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Further, the commission shall identify gaps in programs, services, and funding related to the early identification of ASD and provide recommendations to close the identified gaps; and be it further Resolved, That the commission shall identify gaps in programs and services related to the education and treatment of children, adolescents, transitional youth, and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Further, the commission shall provide recommendations for the planning of a comprehensive and integrated continuum of programs, services, and funding that will be required to address the "aging out" of children who comprise the current autism epidemic; and be it further Resolved, That the commission shall consist of 16 members, who shall include eight members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules and eight members appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly; and be it further Resolved, That the commission shall be under the direction of a chair, selected from among its members and appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and a vice chair, selected from among its members and appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly; and be it further Resolved, That the commission shall submit one or more reports to the Legislature and to the Governor, including its findings and recommendations by no later than September 30, 2007; and be it further Resolved, That the commission is authorized to act until November 30, 2007; and be it further Resolved, That the commission shall seek funding, technical assistance, and other resources from foundations and other organizations as long as that support would not pose any conflict of interest and would be deemed as consistent with the goals and objectives of the commission; and be it further Resolved, That the work of the commission may be supported by legislative staff and services as determined by the respective rules committees; and be it further Resolved, That the commission and its members shall have and exercise all the rights, duties, and powers conferred upon commissions and their members by the Joint Rules of the Senate and the Assembly, as they are adopted and amended from time to time, and the pertinent provisions of the Joint Rules shall be applicable to this commission and its members. 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About Us

Appointed by the Senate Rules Committee and the Assembly Speaker, the Commission will submit recommendations by September of 2007 to the Governor and Legislature to close existing gaps in three state policy areas: 1) the early diagnosis and prompt treatment of autism; 2) the education of students with autism; and 3) the planning that is needed to address the “aging out” of children from California’s school system into adulthood. The Commission has established three task forces of experts to fully explore each of these areas; to provide specific recommendations on closing existing gaps in services and programs.

The Autism Commission is committed to establishing partnerships and working closely with individuals with ASD, their families and all interested stakeholders. Therefore, the Commission will hold a series of regional meetings and discussions throughout California to ensure that there is comprehensive public input and participation.

Senator Darrell Steinberg, who chairs the Commission,recently indicated that, “We are looking for concrete answers. We want specific recommendations that can be implemented by future legislation to improve the lives of all individuals afflicted by the epidemic of autism. Together we will not only bring hope to families throughout the state, but we can also find solutions to help many children with behavioral and emotional challenges develop into healthy adults!”

Dr. Barbara Firestone, President and CEO of The Help Group and Commission Vice-Chair, added that, “The Commission and its task forces have the critical responsibility of charting a course for change that has the potential to positively impact the lives of individuals with autism and their families throughout California, and to serve as a model with national implications.”

Commission Staff

Sue North, Executive Director

Dr. Louis Vismara, M.D., Policy Consultant to Senate President pro Tem Don Perata

Harriet Levy, Assistant Consultant

Jody Martin, Consultant with the Senate Office of Research

Ginny Puddefoot, Director of California Family Impact Seminar, California Research Bureau

Michelle Caballero, Executive Assistant


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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