[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Calls on West Virginia Governor to Enact Autism Insurance Reform Legislation
West Virginia Legislature Passes HB 2693, Legislation That Will Help End Discrimination Against Children With Autism
NEW YORK, NY (March 14, 2011) — Autism Speaks joined West Virginia families and other autism advocacy organizations today in applauding the members of the state legislature for their passage of House Bill 2693, which requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based autism therapies, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA).
The bill was amended and passed back and forth in a volley between the House and Senate but passed right before the legislative deadline on Saturday night, March 12th.
The bill now heads to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk to be signed into law.
Sponsored in the West Virginia House by Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer (District 44 – Monongalia), HB 2693 would end private insurance companies’ discrimination against children with autism by requiring coverage of evidence-based, medically-necessary therapies, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.
HB 2693 includes a maximum benefit for ABA therapy of $30,000 annually for the first three consecutive years after diagnosis and a maximum benefit of $2,000 monthly thereafter until the individual reaches age 18. HB 2693 was supported through the Senate by Senator Evan H. Jenkins (District 5 – Cabell) and will go into effect on July 1 of this year when signed into law.
“Autism Speaks applauds the members of the West Virginia legislature for passing HB 2693, which will extend a helping hand to families that have been financially devastated by the lack of insurance coverage for necessary autism therapies,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Delegate Fleischauer and Senator Jenkins on this issue and now call on Governor Tomblin to sign the bill into law, allowing West Virginia to join the ranks of states that have recognized the unfair and unreasonable burden being imposed on families of children with autism.”
To date, twenty-four states – Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin – have enacted autism insurance reform legislation. Several other state legislatures have introduced similar legislation during the current 2011 session and a bill in Virginia awaits the governor’s signature before becoming law.”
It has truly been an honor to be a full participant in the legislative process that has brought such amazing change for West Virginia families of children with autism,” said Earlene Sharp Anglin, Autism Speaks West Virginia State Advocacy Chair.
“The families did such an incredible job of making their needs and wishes known all throughout the process. Thank you so much to all of you and especially to Senator Evan Jenkins, my senator, who was an incredible champion for all our families all the way through.”
“We are so appreciative of all of our legislators who voted in favor of HB 2693 and that we are now only one signature away from making this a reality for the children of West Virginia with autism who so badly need appropriate access to medical treatments and therapies,” said Jill Scarbro-McLaury, lead volunteer with Mountaineer Autism Project.
“Enacting this legislation will additionally help us retain the bright, young behavior analysts that West Virginia has become so well known for educating instead of losing them to surrounding states that have already achieved this initiative.”
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.