[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Endorses Ohio Autism Insurance Reform Bills
October 25, 2012
COLUMBUS, OH (October 25, 2012) — Autism Speaks today endorsed bipartisan legislation that would make Ohio the 33rd state to enact autism insurance reform. Bills introduced in the Ohio House and Senate would clarify that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) should be covered under the state’s Mental Health Parity Act of 2007.
All five states surrounding Ohio have enacted autism insurance reform laws which bar state-regulated health plans from discriminating against children and young adults with autism by refusing to cover proven treatments, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
The House bill (HB-598) is sponsored by state Reps. Lou Terhar (Green Township) and Cheryl Grossman (Grove City); the Senate version (SB-381) is sponsored by Senator Bill Seitz (Cincinnati). The legislation was unveiled at a Statehouse press conference today attended by Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks’ vice president for state government affairs.
“Autism Speaks looks forward to working with the Ohio Legislature and advocates across the state in bringing relief to families forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket every year to care for their children,” Unumb said. “When presented with the facts, the Ohio legislature will make the same choice as every other legislature in the Midwest.”
The Ohio Mental Health Parity Act specified that biologically based mental illnesses should be covered by health insurers as a “basic health care service,” but did not include ASDs in the definition of “biologically based mental illnesses.”
The new legislation would simply amend the statute to include ASDs in the definition of biologically based mental illnesses, thereby making it a basic health care service to be covered by health insurers in Ohio.
“It is unacceptable that Ohio stands alone in the Midwest and behind 32 other states in the nation in not guaranteeing its citizens this coverage,” Terhar and Grossman said. “…the State Department of Education reports state spending of over $250 million annually in special education costs for children with autistic disorders. Much of this spending would be avoidable if applied behavioral analysis treatment were made available to children before they reached school age, when it has the greatest chance of success.”
The new bills differ from a previous measure that passed the Ohio House. Annual ABA benefits would be capped at $50,000; there is no age cap.
“The experience with coverage in other states has provided a wealth of data on the true fiscal costs associated with this coverage,” said Seitz. “There has been no empirical evidence to show any significant insurance premium increases.”
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.