Autism Speaks | Portland Takes Step One in Oregon | June 6, 2012 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

Portland Takes Step One in Oregon

     June 06, 2012

NEW YORK, NY (June 6, 2012) – Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, today applauded the City of Portland’s decision to extend autism insurance benefits to city employees, including coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), paving the way for wider reform to be enacted at the state level in Oregon in 2013.

Through the efforts of City Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman, Portland will start covering autism treatment, including ABA, for city employees and dependents on July 1 with no financial, age or visit caps. In addition, existing limitations on physical, occupational, speech and audiological therapy necessary to restore or improve lost function caused by autism will be removed.  The benefits apply to employees covered under the city’s self-funded health plan administered by ODS; employees covered under the city’s Kaiser plan will receive assistance to appeal and resolve denials of ABA therapy.

“This is an important first step in Oregon for improving access to proven therapies that can improve the quality of life for a child with autism,” said Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks’ vice president for state government affairs. “We thank Commissioners Fritz and Saltzman for their leadership. The initiative extends important new benefits, while preserving the city’s ability to control health care costs through utilization review and preauthorization.”

The Portland decision gives a boost to efforts at the state level led by Senators Alan Bates and Mark Hass to craft an autism insurance reform bill for the 2013 legislative session. The Senators have brought together the autism community, represented by Paul Terdal of Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of Oregon, and the Oregon Association for Behavior Analysis, with representatives from the insurance industry and the state.

Under the benefit change, coverage would be provided for ABA therapy provided by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and line therapists under their supervision. A licensed provider will have to recommend the therapy and monitor progress. This approach, based on the national standard of care for treatment of autism, helps deliver quality care at an affordable cost by allowing paraprofessionals to help provide treatment. 

Precertification will be required based on a determination of medical necessity, with periodic utilization review to confirm whether progress is continuing. There will be no arbitrary age, dollar, or visit limits on this benefit.

In addition, the new plan will remove existing limitations on physical, occupational, speech and audiological therapy necessary to restore or improve lost function caused by autism. Prior authorization will be required, but decisions will be based on medical necessity determinations that the therapy will result in continued improvement.

The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”


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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