[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Military Families, TRICARE & Autism
The U.S. House of Representatives on May 17, 2012, approved an amendment to the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would significantly improve coverage for autism benefits under the TRICARE military healthcare program. The House vote on the amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Larson (CT-1), was a significant step forward. But much work remains to be done. To better understand what this legislation encompasses and how it has evolved, Autism Speaks has developed the following FAQs.
Among the many methods available for treatment of autism, applied behavior analysis (ABA) has become widely accepted as an effective treatment. TRICARE, the military healthcare program, provides limited coverage of ABA care under a separate arm of TRICARE called the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO). ABA services under ECHO are subject to an annual financial cap of $36,000 per year and are only available for dependents of active-duty service members. Dependents of retirees are not able to access ABA treatments under TRICARE, and Guard/Reserve families receive intermittent care.
In June 2011, Representatives John Larson (CT-1) and Walter B. Jones (NC-3) introduced the Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act, HR 2288, to improve access to essential autism treatments. HR 2288 clarifies that military dependents with autism shall have access to medically necessary behavioral health treatments (including ABA) through the TRICARE basic health care program. HR 2288 was referred to the House Armed Services Committee in July 2011. Between June 2011 and May 2012, HR 2288 gained strong bi-partisan support with over 70 co-sponsors signed on to the bill.
On May 17, 2012, the House Armed Services Committee brought the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the floor of the House for a vote. Congressman Larson offered an amendment to the NDAA addressing major components from HR 2288 regarding ABA coverage under TRICARE. Changes were made to the amendment by the House Armed Services Committee. The amendment as revised was voted on with unanimous consent and was included in the final version of the House NDAA.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.