[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Law Summit Highlights Latest Advances in Insurance Reform
September 10, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC (September 10, 2012) — Autism Speaks honored the nation’s top state-level advocates and highlighted the latest advances in autism insurance reform during the 7th annual Autism Law Summit.
Approximately 100 parents, lawyers and practitioners representing 33 states from Hawaii to New Hampshire attended the three-day event held at the George Washington University Law School.
Increased focus was provided this year on autism coverage under self-funded insurance plans which are not subject to state reform laws, the special circumstances encountered by military families and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. During the summit, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) unveiled its new guidelines for health plan coverage of ABA treatment for autism.
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley delivered the keynote remarks, reflecting on his experiences as a parent of a child with autism, a legislator and now lieutenant governor in winning autism insurance reform in Michigan. Calley in April signed a three-bill package as acting governor that made Michigan the 30th state to enact autism insurance reform.
Calley said he approached autism insurance reform as a taxpayer issue. “We could either do the right thing upfront or pay for it down the road,” he said. A critical resource proved to be actuarial studies performed through Autism Speaks which provided “real’ cost impact data to counter the inflated claims of the insurance industry.
The autism insurance reform campaign, Calley said, was opposed by a wide array of groups he had never seen before coalesce on one issue. The supporters, on the other hand, were “an amateur ragtag army of advocates” who had to rely on “brute force” to prevail in the Legislature. With autism insurance reform now the law, Calley said, “my theory is that all of this irrational opposition to treating autism will fade away once it gets worked into the system.”
Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks vice president for state government affairs, presented Calley with the Executive Champion of the Year Award for his work with the Michigan legislation.
The other award winners were:
Autism Delaware for Advocacy Group of the Year
Lorri Unumb (right) presents award to Kim Siegel, Autism Delaware’s policy & walk director, as Shelley Hendrix (left), grassroots advocacy director, and Judith Ursitti, state government affairs director, look on. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation in August in Autism Delaware’s Newark office making The First State the 32nd state to enact autism insurance reform.
Virginia Autism Project
Patricia Chandler Taylor accepted the award from Judith Ursitti for VAP’s work in 2011 in winning autism insurance refrom in Virginia and continuing this year as it works to assure access to ABA treatment as required under the law.
Also attending the summit for VAP were Theresa Champion and Lavada Robertson.
Claudia Pringles (Vermont)
A special needs attorney and cochair of the Vermont Autism Task Force, Claudia (left) accepting award from Judith Ursitti, helped win the enactment in 2012 of legislation expanding coverage under the state’s existing law, raising the age cap for receiving benefits from 6 to 21. The Vermont law was one of three expansion bills that succeeded in 2012; the others weere Louisiana and Rhode Island.
Mirella Peterson (Utah Autism Coalition)
As president of the Utah Autism Coalition, Mirella earlier this year led a powerful coalition of Utah families in a legislative campaign for autism insurance reform. Mirella (front left) is shown with (counter-clockwise)Shelley Hendricks, Judith Ursitti, Lorri Unumb and Mike Wasmer, associate director of state government affairs. shown with
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.