[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Joins the Arkansas Autism Community In Applauding Senate Members For Passing Autism Insurance Reform Legislation
After Unanimous Passage, Advocates Now Call for Governor Beebe’s Swift Enactment
NEW YORK, NY (March 3, 2011) – Autism Speaks joined Arkansas families yesterday in applauding the members of the Senate for their unanimous passage of House Bill 1315, which requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA). The bill now heads to Governor Mike Beebe’s desk to be enacted into law.
Sponsored in the Arkansas House by State Representative Uvalde Lindsey (District 88) and escorted through the Senate by Senator Mary Anne Salmon, HB 1315 includes coverage of behavioral health treatments, such as ABA therapy. The bill also includes a maximum benefit for ABA therapy of up to $50,000 annually until the individual reaches age 18.
“Autism Speaks applauds the members of the Arkansas Senate for passing HB 1315, which will extend a helping hand to families that have 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. “We are grateful for the leadership of Representative Lindsey and Senator Salmon on this issue and now call on Governor Beebe to sign this bill into law, allowing Arkansas to join the ranks of states that have recognized the unfair and unreasonable burden being imposed on families of children with autism.”
Many states do not require private insurance companies to cover even essential autism treatments and services. In the absence of coverage, families often pay as much as they can out-of-pocket for services that can cost upwards of $50,000 per year. In the process, many risk their homes and the educations of their unaffected children – essentially mortgaging their entire futures.
“Passing HB 1315 is a great step forward for the children and families who suffer from autism,” said Representative Lindsey. “Credit goes to those who made calls and wrote emails to their Representatives urging them to vote in favor of this bill. I am so proud of my colleagues in the House who voted for this bill and it is an honor to serve the autism community to ensure that all our kids get the services they need to get well. This bill is great for Arkansas and great for the nation.”
To date, twenty-three states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin – have enacted autism insurance reform legislation. Several other state legislatures will introduce similar legislation during the current 2011 session.
“We are thrilled with the vote today and so grateful to the Representatives and Senators who supported this initiative. I personally have never felt as proud of my state as I am today,” said Dianna Varady, Autism Speaks’ Arkansas Chapter Advocacy Chair. “This is a testament to all the hard work families around Arkansas have dedicated to the cause of finally ending insurance discrimination against individuals with autism. Without their dogged determination, this victory would not have been possible.”
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic 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 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.