[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Analyzes Military’s New ABA Policies
July 26, 2013
(July 31 Update: Autism Speaks has received copies of letters issued by TRICARE to its regional contractors confirming in writing that there will no changes in ABA coverage under the ECHO Autism Demonstration and Basic programs. See 4th paragraph; click on links.)
WASHINGTON, DC (July 26, 2013) — TRICARE, the healthcare program for military families, yesterday launched its pilot program to improve and expand its coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for non-active personnel. Autism Speaks has analyzed the new program based on available information, and how all military personnel –active and non-active duty–may be impacted.
Here is our summary:
Last year Congress directed TRICARE to launch an ABA pilot program to improve and expand its coverage for non-active personnel. TRICARE published its ABA Pilot policy last month for non-active duty family members — but along with it came significant and drastic changes to existing ABA coverage for all beneficiaries with autism, including active duty military families.
Last week, TRICARE stepped back, but not away, from this ill-conceived change in the policy for ABA. After a tremendous outcry from military families, service providers, and advocacy organizations, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of the TRICARE Management Activity, assured military families that services under the TRICARE Basic program and the Enhanced Access to Autism Services Demonstration (ECHO Autism Demonstration) will not change.
As of this writing, however, the new policy itself has not been modified. Our summary here is based on Woodson’s verbal assurances and TRICARE statements that its ECHO Autism Demonstration and Basic Program will revert back to older policy versions.
We will update the summary as developments warrant – please check back.
Autism Speaks, meanwhile, remains concerned about the ABA Pilot for non-active duty family members. Specifically, these issues need to be addressed:
- by requiring specific psychometric testing, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2), as a baseline measure before services can be provided, access to treatment for children may be delayed, possibly for several months
- by using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, 2nd Edition (Vineland-II), to confirm progress in treatment – a function for which the test has not been validated – needed care could be denied to children who could benefit from ABA
- arbitrary age and duration limits
- discharge criteria
- proper coverage of Assistant Behavior Analysts
TRICARE should fix these and other defects the right way – by working with families and other stakeholders as partners.
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.