[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
GA Governor Proposes ABA Coverage for State Employees
January 16, 2014
ATLANTA (January 16, 2014) –Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has proposed the introduction of autism insurance coverage through the state employee health plan in his new budget proposal. If approved by the Legislature, the coverage would be the first in Georgia for applied behavior analysis (ABA) and other medically necessary autism treatments.
“Autism Speaks joins with the Georgia autism community in cheering Governor Deal for his leadership in taking meaningful action with autism in Georgia,” said Lorri Unumb, Esq., Autism Speaks’ vice president for state government affairs. “We are thrilled with this important announcement, and we remain committed to the passage of Ava’s Law this year to provide coverage to many more Georgia families.”
Georgia is one of just 16 remaining states yet to require state-regulated health plans to cover ABA and other autism treatments. Deal’s state budget proposal calls for $2.4 million in the state employee health plan to cover ABA and other treatments starting in 2015 for both state employees and teachers.
Rep. Ben Harbin (R-Evans), who is sponsoring Ava’s Law (HB.309), commended Deal for his action, but made clear he intends to press forward in the current legislative session with his bill. Last year, the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee heard testimony on Ava’s Law, but then referred it to a Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Benefits.
The commission voted 7-4 last November against recommending the Legislature take up the bill. Both Harbin and Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), the Senate sponsor of Ava’s Law vowed shortly after that vote to press forward in 2014 with the bill.
Ava’s Law is named after Ava Bullard whose mother, Anna Bullard of Lyons, has helped lead Georgia advocates for autism insurance reform.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic 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 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.