[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Delayed TRICARE Pilot Program Comes Under Senate Scrutiny
April 18, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC (April 18, 2013) — Critical questions regarding a one-year ABA pilot program ordered by Congress but yet to be created were left unanswered by TRICARE during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Pressed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who chairs the committee’s personnel subcommittee, TRICARE Director Jonathon Woodson said the pilot program would cover ABA technicians, but declined to say when the program would begin, whether dollar caps would be imposed or when military families would begin receiving information. Congress directed late last year that the program be up and running by April 2, but Woodson said the Department of Defense had been unable to meet the deadline due to budget issues.
“We are moving ahead with all due haste to set up the program,” Woodson told Gillibrand.
TRICARE began offering the ABA coverage as a medical benefit after a U.S. District Court judge last July ruled against the Department of Defense in a class action lawsuit brought by military families. TRICARE implemented the ABA medical benefit last summer, but most beneficiaries could not access services because of TRICARE’s narrow definition of who can deliver care.
Before the judge’s ruling last summer, TRICARE coverage of ABA care was limited to active-duty personnel and treatments were subject to dollar caps that did not address the level of treatment needed. Woodson said that if left to TRICARE’s discretion, ABA would be considered an educational rather than medical benefit, “but the law says we have to provide it so we will provide it.”
Congress created the pilot program to improve TRICARE coverage for ABA as a medical benefit and expand access to a greater number of providers, but for now the details of the program are still unknown leaving families in limbo. An estimated 23,000 military families care for loved ones with autism.
“We call on TRICARE to be more transparent so that families and providers can plan accordingly,” said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks’ associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. “The pilot is essential to expand access to a greater number of ABA providers, but it is also important it address the level of care that has been medically recommended. The law is clear — TRICARE must cover all medically necessary treatment.”
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.