[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Endorses 2009 Tennessee Autism Insurance Reform Bill
April 30, 2009
Nashville, TN (April 30, 2009) Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization, today announced its support for House Bill 2105, the autism insurance reform bill. The legislation would require private health insurance companies to cover the medically necessary behavioral therapy services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The bill stipulates that coverage for behavioral therapy will be subject to a $50,000 maximum benefit per year for an eligible person up to the age of nine and a $25,000 maximum benefit per year for an eligible person between the age of nine and sixteen.
Sponsored in the Tennessee State House by State Representative David Shepard (D-69), HB 2105 includes coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based, medically-necessary autism therapy.
We applaud and thank Representative Shepard for his leadership on this issue of critical concern to thousands of Tennessee families, said Elizabeth Emken, Autism Speaks Vice President of Government Relations. Autism Speaks joins Tennessees autism community in calling on the legislature to pass HB 2105 and join the growing number of states that have ended healthcare discrimination against children with autism.
Most states do not require private insurance companies to cover even essential autism treatments and services. In the absence of coverage, families often pay as much as they can out-of-pocket for services that can cost upwards of $50,000 per year. In the process, many risk their homes and the educations of their unaffected children essentially mortgaging their entire futures.
Ten states Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas — have enacted autism insurance reform legislation. Several other state legislatures will vote on similar legislation during the current session.
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.