[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
New Texas ABA Medicaid benefit takes effect February 1
January 28, 2022
Effective February 1, 2022, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a covered benefit for Medicaid enrollees in Texas who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This new ABA Medicaid benefit has taken years of advocacy by Autism Speaks and advocates across the state who care about making Texas a better place for those affected by autism.
ABA is the acronym for “Applied Behavior Analysis.” It is an evidence-based behavioral therapy for those with ASD and one of the most common interventions for people with autism. Learn more about ABA.
The path to coverage under Medicaid for ABA services has been long and not without its challenges. On June 15, 2019, Governor Abbott signed the budget bill which included a requirement for Texas Medicaid to cover medically necessary care, including ABA, for all Texas Medicaid-enrolled children. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the implementation of coverage for autism services was delayed. During this time Autism Speaks has continued to work toward effective implementation, and we are now happy to share more information about how to access and use the new benefit.
Details about accessing the Medicaid ABA benefit:
- The individual enrolled in Medicaid must be under 21 years old. Currently, CHIP enrollees are not eligible for the benefit. However, Medicaid Buy-In enrollees are eligible. To learn more about Medicaid and the Medicaid Buy-In program, visit here.
- The individual needs to have been diagnosed with ASD within the last 3 years.
- A doctor or other medical professional (for example, a psychologist or nurse practitioner) needs to make a referral (prescribe) ABA for the child.
- ABA providers who are accepting Medicaid clients will be in the online provider directory of the child’s health plan. Search for “licensed behavior analysts” or “autism services.” Check the back of the child’s Medicaid card for plan information.
- Because ABA is a brand-new Medicaid benefit, we expect there may be some hiccups along the way as it is rolled out. We also expect that there will be a shortage of providers who are accepting Medicaid clients. For these and other concerns, please contact the child’s Medicaid service coordinator or the state’s Behavioral Health Ombudsman and ask for help. Texas families have waited so long for this benefit & we want to help the state address any problems as quickly as possible.
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.