[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Seattle Times: Insurers Should Cover Autism Therapies
August 28, 2012
SEATTLE (August 27, 2012) — The Seattle Times in an editorial ‘Lawsuit victory for treatment of autism’ praised a series of recent court settlements in class action lawsuits brought against Washington health insurers that make behavioral health treatments more accessible for autism.
“Convincing insurers to pay for neurodevelopmental and behavioral therapies used to treat this range of clinical conditions is a huge step that ought not be downplayed,” the editorial concludes. “These therapies can produce dramatic improvements in children with autism, allowing them to attend school and participate in mainstream activities.”
Read the full editorial below.
Lawsuit victory for treatment of autism
August 27, 2012
Neurodevelopmental and behavioral therapies used to treat autism-spectrum disorders should be covered by insurers.
Seattle Times Editorial
Group Health Cooperative has settled a class-action lawsuit by agreeing to cover behavioral-health treatment for autism, an important moment and model for other Washington insurers.
Indeed, the state Health Care Authority followed with its partial settlement of a class-action lawsuit, agreeing to cover intensive early-intervention behavior therapy for children with autism-spectrum disorders whose parents have health insurance through the state’s Uniform Medical Plan. Coverage for Medicaid patients is also close to an agreement.
Convincing insurers to pay for neurodevelopmental and behavioral therapies used to treat this range of clinical conditions is a huge step that ought not be downplayed. These therapies can produce dramatic improvements in children with autism, allowing them to attend school and participate in mainstream activities.
Therapeutic costs can easily run families tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Washington’s mental-health parity law requires coverage for neurodevelopmental and behavioral therapies. That’s considerable leverage, but it did not stop insurers from excluding the therapies. Adding to families’ challenge in getting coverage is the debate over whether certain treatments are medical, and covered by insurance, or educational, and thus falling under the responsibility of public schools.
Efforts over the years by autism-advocacy groups to get the state Legislature to mandate coverage were consistently opposed by insurers. So advocates headed to the courts.
With Group Health and the Health Care Authority’s agreements, settlements in other lawsuits, including against Premera Blue Cross and Regence Blue Shield, should be next.
Agreements about coverage must happen. That’s exactly what the state’s Mental Health Parity Act promised. Autism is among the fastest-growing developmental disabilities in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 88 children has some form of autism-spectrum disorder.
The rise in diagnoses and treatments has spurred lawsuits across the country as families battle states, insurers and public schools for coverage.
Early investment in these therapies make a big difference for a lifetime.
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.