[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Governor McAuliffe Joined by Virginia Advocates for ABLE Signing
April 14, 2015
ARLINGTON – Governor Terry McAuliffe was joined by advocates from the disability community for a signing ceremony for Virginia’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which allows families to invest in tax-free savings accounts for disability- related expenses. Virginia became the first state to enact the legislation since the federal ABLE Act was signed in December of 2014.
One distinguished guest at the ceremony was Catherine Beck, wife of the late Stephen Beck, Jr. Mr. Beck worked to develop federal ABLE legislation, which was ultimately renamed the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 in his honor. At the ceremony, Mr. Beck was remembered as a champion for his daughter Natalie who has Down syndrome and for the entire disability community.
“Steve Beck’s advocacy for the ABLE Act benefited all families including my own,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Adviser and Counsel at Autism Speaks and the father of a twenty year-old son with autism. “ABLE accounts will offer those with disabilities a way to plan for a more secure financial future.”
The accounts, modeled after 529 college savings plans, require state-level implementation. Virginia’s ABLE legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers and was sponsored by Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield) and Senator Walter Stosch (R-Henrico).
Enacted late last year, the federal ABLE Act amended federal law to disregard ABLE account funds for means-tested federal programs such as SSI and Medicaid, which cap (usually at $2,000) the amount an individual with a disability may save.
“We applaud the passage of ABLE in Virginia to empower families with disabilities to invest in their future at a time when 50,000 children with autism age into adulthood every year. This victory for families affected by autism would not have been possible without the steadfast leadership of Senator Stosch, Delegate Filler-Corn and hard-working advocates across the state,” said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks. “It is also a wonderful tribute to the late Steve Beck that his daughter Natalie will soon be able to open an ABLE account in Virginia. We thank Governor McAuliffe for signing ABLE making Virginia the first state to enact the program since the federal legislation was passed last year.”
Virginia is part of a growing list of states with enacted similar ABLE programs which includes Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia. ABLE legislation is currently awaiting signature in Kansas and legislation is pending in Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana (to amend existing law), Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Washington.
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.