Autism Speaks | Federal Judge Reverses Course on TRICARE ABA Ruling | June 7, 2013 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

Federal Judge Reverses Course on TRICARE ABA Ruling

June 07, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (June 7, 2013) — Autism Speaks expressed disappointment with a federal judge’s unusual decision to partially reverse his 2012 ruling directing TRICARE, the Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare program, to cover ABA for all military families.

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton said he overreached last year by ordering TRICARE to change the policy, and that he should have just remanded the case back to the agency to reconsider its policy. Walton’s ruling came on a motion by the DoD to reconsider his July 2012 decision in Kenneth Berge v United States of America, a class action suit brought on behalf of military families.

“Military families need to be assured that this litigation is continuing and that we are committed to reaching our ultimate goal of universal coverage for all military families at medically prescribed levels,” said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks’ associate director of federal government affairs and military relations and a Marine Corps spouse. “This may delay, but will not deny us from reaching that goal.” 

In the meantime, Driscoll said Autism Speaks is working with its champions in Congress to permanently change TRICARE’s policy by statute. Congress last year ordered TRICARE to set up a one-year ABA pilot program by April 2, but the agency has yet to announce when the program will start or how it will operate, leaving families without appropriate care.

Dave Honigman, who brought the case with Gerard Mantese, said the plaintiffs will review Walton’s decision further and decide on their next steps. While the litigation continues, TRICARE’s “interim” policy to reimburse ABA care provided by BCBAs through its Basic program remains in effect.

In his July 2012 ruling, Walton called TRICARE’s policy of covering ABA for active duty employees while denying it to retirees “arbitrary and capricious and not in accordance with the law.” He ordered the DoD to change the policy.

“After renewed reflection,” Walton said in his new ruling, “the Court agrees that it committed ‘clear error’ in its ruling that remand to the Agency was an ‘unnecessary formality,’ and that the Court should have remanded the case to the Agency for further action.”

Walton rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that TRICARE was merely seeking “repeated, entirely duplicative remand opportunities in order to keep coming up with new reasons for denying coverage.” Instead, he cited the courts’ policy of permitting reconsideration “to allow agencies to cure their own mistakes.”

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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