[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Congress Briefed on Rising Prevalence, Cost of Autism as CDC Faces Budget Axe on Further Research
April 25, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2012) — The Congressional Autism Caucus hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on the recently announced increase in the prevalence of autism and a related study showing how the costs to society and individual families for autism care have soared. The briefing was conducted as Congress weighed budget measures that could cripple the ability of the federal government to continue tracking the growth in autism.
Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), the co-chairs of the Congressional Autism Caucus, sponsored the briefing that was set up to inform Congressional staff and the public on the recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing the prevalence of autism has grown to 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.
In addition, Andy Shih (left), Autism Speaks vice president for scientific affairs, briefed the audience on a new Autism Speaks-funded study which found the economic cost of autism to the United States now exceeds the Gross Domestic Product of 141 nations around the globe and ranges from $1.4 million to $2.3 million per individual.
”We already know the burden on families affected by autism is enormous,” Shih said. ”The extraordinary cost further exacerbates that burden. The time and effort involved in coordinating the care and treatment plan across a large number of providers has reduced the ability of many families to earn a living.”
Shih joined two CDC experts who were questioned by the audience about the agencys commitment to match the rise in autism with increased research. The CDC experts were also asked why the agency does not undertake more definitive research on the impact of environmental factors, including vaccines, on rising autism rates.
Jon Baio, Ed.S., principal investigator for the CDCs Autism and Development Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM), and Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, M.D., who heads the developmental disabilities branch of the CDCs National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, defended the CDCs response to the rise of autism, noting that 76 percent of autism research funding is provided by the federal government.
The CDC researchers said they are focusing on better identifying the risk factors associated with autism. The 78 percent jump in autism prevalence rates between 2002 and 2008 is a result of increased awareness and various risk factors, but how much each is a factor is poorly understood, said Baio.
Baio (right) also said the CDCs Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) is exploring risk factors by looking simultaneously at characteristics of autism, environmental factors and genes.
Congressman Smith (below) noted the physical, emotional and economic toll autism takes on families and caregivers, and the importance of early intervention in helping children with autism gain independence. Smith noted how federal funding for tracking autism prevalence evolved from a study of an autism cluster in Brick Township, New Jersey into a continuing nationwide surveillance program conducted by the CDC.
The ability of the CDC to continue that surveillance, however, is now jeopardized as a $21.3 million appropriation for the work is in danger of being cut from the 2013 federal budget. The funding had been authorized last year as part of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA).
Shih in his remarks said the Autism Speaks-funded study was conducted by Dr. Martin Knapp, of the London School of Economics, and Dr. David Mandell, of the University of Pennsylvania. Autism Speaks has funded another year of study by the researchers to examine how the use of autism therapies reduces lifetime costs associated with autism, he said.
Their investigation will focus on both intensive preschool behavioral interventions and vocational interventions that support an individuals independence during the transition to adulthood, Shih said. Calculations will take into account costs related to healthcare, education, caregiving, housing, and employment.
The new study will provide a clearer picture on how early intervention can reduce costs, Shih said, but noted that many individuals with autism continue to require services into adulthood. The challenge therefore is also about being smarter with how we invest in a good care system for individuals and families living with autism.
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.