Autism Speaks | Outcry Grows Over Looming ABA Cuts for Military Kids | July 16, 2013 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

Outcry Grows Over Looming ABA Cuts for Military Kids 

July 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (July 16, 2013)  —  Military families from around the nation are raising their voices over policy changes proposed by TRICARE, the military health insurance plan, that would restrict their access to applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for their children with autism. The changes, which would take effect July 25, have already drawn a protest from U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

“Military families deserve better,” Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks’ associate director for federal government affairs and military relations, told Stars and Stripes. The article noted Autism Speaks’ ongoing efforts with Congress and TRICARE to improve coverage for the nation’s 23,000 military kids with autism.

“It’s as if someone in Tricare who doesn’t understand autism wrote this policy,” Jeremy Hilton, a veteran and Air Force spouse whose daughter has autism, told  The online news site said TRICARE’s Facebook page “exploded” with questions from concerned parents and that customer service representatives were unable to answer or responded inaccurately to phone requests for information.

Under the proposed policy changes, parents would have to arrange standardized testing every 6 months for their children in order to continue receiving care, and demonstrate “measurable progress.” Continued care after two years of therapy and after age 16 would require a waiver, and new discharge criteria would be put in place.

Kathryn Sneed, whose husband is stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, called the requirement to have their three-year-old son with autism re-evaluated every six months “ridiculous.” Sneed said she is concerned they will have to drive two hours to Atlanta to find the specialists required to perform the proposed testing.

At Fort Stewart, a U.S. Army installation also in Georgia, families whose children receive ABA therapy posed for a group picture and message that they represent “just a fraction” of the military families at risk of being impacted by the changes.

WVEC in Norfolk, VA reported on the controversy, and in Seattle, military spouse Dena Radcliffe raised concerns over how the changes would affect her three-old-son with autism in an interview with KING 5 News. 

The threat of losing her son’s ABA coverage, she said, would feel  “like I’m losing the ability to connect, in a way, with my child.” 

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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