Autism Speaks: ABA Plan For Military Families Is A Dud | May 24, 2013 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Autism Speaks: ABA Plan For Military Families Is A Dud

May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (May 24, 2013) — Autism Speaks today expressed disappointment with the terms of a one-year ABA pilot program for military families developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) through TRICARE and called on Pentagon leadership to take action.

In a report sent to Congress May 7, the DoD said it was limiting the pilot ABA autism program to non-active service members only as a companion to the existing TRICARE ECHO program for active duty members. There was no indication when the program will start. 

Late last year, Congress ordered the DoD to create the pilot program for “all TRICARE beneficiaries,” but the DoD instead has limited the program to non-active duty members covered under TRICARE Basic. No insight was offered on dollar caps for treatment, coverage for prescribed levels of care, when the program will become available, or how military families or ABA providers will be advised of the services. 

“Military families need access to the care they have earned and deserve, yet TRICARE continues to restrict medically recommended treatment,” said Karen Driscoll, a Marine Corps spouse and Autism Speaks’ associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. “TRICARE was created to provide a premier set of services to our military service members and their families because of their unique job requirements and the sacrifices made in service to our country. Yet when it comes to military children with disabilities, TRICARE’s policies consistently miss opportunities to address the medical needs of our kids. Leadership is needed to address the shortfalls in coverage of ABA care.”

Autism Speaks, which has attempted to work with TRICARE in structuring the pilot program, discovered the report posted on a website. The pilot was originally supposed to start on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, but was delayed due to budget issues, said TRICARE Director Jonathon Woodson in testimony last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Report to Congress is the first public release of information on the details of the autism pilot program.

In addition to the pilot program ordered by Congress, military families prevailed last summer in a federal class action lawsuit brought against TRICARE over access to ABA care. A U.S. District Court judge ordered the DoD to provide ABA as a medical benefit, but only 250 families were able to access the benefit last year, highlighting the need to improve TRICARE policy and provide the level of care military families require.

The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism 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 workIn 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.

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