[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Families testify in support of autism funding
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | 10:21 p.m. CST
BY Rebecca Beitsch
JEFFERSON CITY – More than a dozen parents of autistic children spoke before the Senate Small Business Committee on Tuesday to urge support of a measure that would require limited health care coverage for autism.
But one committee member argued the bill doesn’t go far enough.
The bill would give families up to $72,000 per year to cover behavioral therapies for children with autism and requires that coverage continue until age 21.
Under the current bill, only about 40 percent of those with autistic children would be covered. Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Lincoln, said those who work for small businesses would not qualify under the bill, which only mandates coverage of autism with certain types of insurance plans.
Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, questioned supporters about whether the bill goes far enough.
“We’re going to feel good just by giving it to a few? I’m not subscribing to that,” Crowell said. He asked if autism advocates were really satisfied with a bill that he said wouldn’t provide coverage to even half of the existing population in need.
Two mothers wearing homemade shirts with ironed-on images of their autistic children said they came to testify in support of the bill even though they would not be covered under the bill. The two women said they would look for new jobs if it meant getting coverage for their children.
Lorri Unumb, a senior policy adviser with Autism Speaks and mother of an autistic child, said she would vouch for any effort to cover autistic children under insurance.
“It’s like this,” Unumb said. “If there were 10 people in a sinking ship, and there were only three life jackets, would you hold onto the life jackets because you didn’t have enough for all 10 people?”
Crowell later said: “What I’m saying is, if we’re going to do this, let’s do this. I don’t want to dislocate my shoulder while trying to pat myself on the back. I don’t want to play games with people when only a small sliver of them are actually getting what they want.”
Many of those testifying were focused not on the 60 percent who would not be covered under the bill, but rather on the need for applied behavior bnalysis therapy, more popularly known as ABA, which is covered under the bill.
Jennifer Gray, a witness from Lee’s Summit, said that ABA therapy would have cost her family $100 an hour. Many of the families testifying said they had difficulty paying bills out of pocket, and a few were considering filing for bankruptcy.
The witnesses who testified stressed the importance of getting ABA therapy for their children in order to develop into productive, tax-paying citizens.
“It is my utmost hope that my child may get to pay taxes someday,” Unumb said, choking back tears.
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.