[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Congress Moves One-Year Pilot Program for Military Kids
December 19, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC (December 19, 2012) — Congress has agreed to require ABA care for all TRICARE beneficiaries with autism through a one-year pilot program, less than the permanent change sought by military families and Autism Speaks, but an important step forward for improved care. The measure, included as an amendment to the new defense authorization bill, will be resubmitted to both houses of Congress for final approval, and then goes to President Obama.
“Autism Speaks applauds the hard work of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. John Larson (D-CT) in achieving this progress for the23,000 military families caring for loved ones with autism in a difficult budget climate,” said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks’ associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. “Our ultimate goal remains permanent coverage for all military families at appropriate care levels. We will closely monitor implementation of the one-year pilot program by the Department of Defense (DoD).”
Members of the armed services now receive ABA coverage for their dependents under the DoD’s TRICARE insurance program only if they are serving on active duty. The benefit is limited to $36,000, covering just 6 to 11 hours of therapy a week, well below the recommended level of care.
Both the House and Senate had approved bipartisan amendments to the new defense authorization bill requiring coverage for military retirees, in addition to active duty members, and provided for recommended levels of care consistent with best practices. The Senate version went further by incorporating the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service.
When the House and Senate met in conference committee to reconcile their two bills into a final version, the members noted their awareness of ongoing litigation in which the U.S. District Court ordered TRICARE to provide ABA benefits to all service members as a medical treatment.
“The conferees understand that the plaintiffs and DOD have each submitted motions to reconsider the court order,” the conference committee reported. “The conferees have provided DOD this one-year authority in order to allow DOD to assess such coverage independent from litigation proceedings.”
The one-year pilot program is to start within 90 days of enactment of the new DoD authorization bill. Within 270 days, DoD will then be required to report to Congress on costs and any recommended legislative remedies.
Autism Speaks will closely monitor the DoD’s implementation of the pilot program on a variety of fronts, including its coverage of ABA Technicians and BCaBA’s.
“Autism Speaks expects the DoD to deliver improved services for military families under the pilot program,” said Driscoll. “We also expect TRICARE to work closely with military families to develop effective strategies that deliver real help to their kids. The pilot program must be a collaborative effort.”
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.