[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Rep. Larson Celebrates House Vote with Connecticut Military Families
May 22, 2012
HARTFORD, CT (May 22, 2012) — Rep. John Larson of Connecticut joined with local military families to celebrate and raise awareness of last week’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a measure that would end insurance discrimination against Department of Defense military families caring for dependents with autism. Approved as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, the measure moves next to the Senate.
Larson spoke of how he was introduced to the issue by Rachel (right) and Sergeant Major William Kenyon, a Connecticut National Guard family from Manchester.
Coverage of the event included:
The Hartford Courant/FoxCT
Autism Amendment On Its Way To U.S. Senate
by Elizabeth Bowling | May 22, 2012 9:27pm
A teary-eyed military wife and mother of an autistic child thanked U.S. Rep. John B. Larson Tuesday for introducing legislation that calls for better coverage of autism.
Rachel Kenyon, wife of Sergeant Major William Kenyon of Connecticut’s National Guard, told her struggles Tuesday to a room full of supporters invested in improving the lives of individuals with autism. It was the same story she told to Larson more than a year ago at a home in West Hartford.
When Kenyon learned that her daughter had autism while her husband was deployed, she also learned that autism treatments offered by TRICARE’s Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) carried an arbitrary dollar cap that limits care to less than half of what is recommended by the medical community. She then learned that every dollar used for respite care or medical equipment was one less dollar for autism treatment. Also upsetting was the fact that retired soldiers were being stripped of autism benefits for their children entirely.
TRICARE’s insurance coverage for military families has a reputation for setting a nationwide standard of care for medical conditions from breast cancer to traumatic brain injury, Kenyon said. The federal program now has another opportunity to provide the best practice in medical care for thousands of military children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder like her five-year-old daughter.
Like many others, Larson admitted he was “unaware of the enormous gap that existed in our TRICARE system.” After talking to Kenyon for just a few minutes, his mission was to close the gap.
Larson said his bill, which had been a stand alone bill before it became an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization bill, initially met resistance from the Pentagon because of its high cost and the Pentagon’s lack of expertise regarding autism. But after changes were made, it passed the House with bipartisan support. It still has to pass the Senate and be signed by the president before becoming law.
“Bipartisan differences can be overcome when you put the American people and when you put the agenda of the country first. And that’s what Democrats and Republicans did,” Larson said.
If approved, the bill will cost $30 million in fiscal year 2013 and a total of $1.3 billion over the next 10 years. The cost of it will be offset by cuts elsewhere in the Defense Authorization bill.
Shannon Knall, of Autism Speaks, said Larson introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that will provide access to evidence-based therapy like Applied Behavior Analysis, to all military families.
Judith Ursitti, director for state government affairs for Autism Speaks, said before this bill passed the House some military parents signed up for additional tours of duty so as not to lose access to the treatment their autistic children needed.
Autism Speaks, founded six years ago, has worked on federal legislation, funded research for the treatment of autism, and worked to pass autism insurance legislation.
“There clearly are disparities for access to treatment across the state and across the nation. The payment systems are overwhelmingly complicated and limited and don’t cover the cost of providing the competence of care that our children need,” Lynn Ricci, senior vice president of administration at the Hospital for Special Care, said.
The Caring for Military Kids with Autism amendment is the first step to overcoming the battle, Knall said.
She explained that this step is an important victory and if the battle continues to be fought then someday all children with autism will have access to appropriate services.
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.