[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Weighs In On MA Adult Housing Bill
February 25, 2014
BOSTON (February 25, 2014) — Autism Speaks joined with other autism advocates at a joint legislative hearing today in support a bill designed to address the shortage of affordable housing for individuals with intellectual disabilities, including autism.
Leslie Long [left], Autism Speaks’ director of adult services, presented the Joint Committee on Housing with a survey report completed late last year by Autism Speaks that documented the existing shortages in adult housing and support services already faced by the autism community. The Executive Summary to the Autism Speaks National Housing & Residential Supports Survey was released last November.
“At Autism Speaks, we know all too well that there is a national shortage of housing and residential supports for adults with autism, and that this problem will only get worse as approximately 500,000 teens with autism, many of whom are living with aging caregivers, enter adulthood over the coming decade,” Long told the committee.
She spoke in support of HB.3364, sponsored by Rep. Jason Lewis, which would take a four-pronged approach to addressing the adult housing shortage in Massachusetts:
- Increase and stabilize funding for Individual Development Accounts by creating a tax credit
- Create a tax-advantaged savings mechanism for families to cover housing expenses for a family member with a disability
- Increase housing production for individuals with developmental disabilities by prioritizing funding through the Housing Innovations Fund for projects serving clients who do not qualify under the Community Based Housing or Facilities Consolidation Funds
- Allow each bedroom to count as one unit of affordable housing in group homes where services are funded through MassHealth or other agencies, as opposed to only those where services are funded through DDS or DMH
Long’s testimony focused directly on the Autism Speaks survey results, which were based on over 10,000 responses from across the country. The survey found:
- Most families and individuals with autism lack information on housing development and support services
- When asked to rank their top concerns, nearly half cited paying for housing and 40% cited paying for the necessary support services
- Only three in ten families expressed confidence they would be able to help finance housing for the individual with autism
- Among those families, nearly half said they could afford to pay no more than $500 per month; 85% said they could contribute no more than $1,000 monthly
- Just one in four families report saving money for future housing and residential support services
- Only 6% of individuals with autism were on a waiting list for a rental or housing voucher; only 24% were on a waiting list for support services
- Only 11% of individuals with autism are employed and able to contribute financially in any way
- More than a third of all families lack outside help to support their loved one with autism and were in need of assistance
“The national housing survey demonstrates the depth of the crisis faced by individuals with autism and their families,” Long told the committeee. “States must find creative ways to provide housing and supports. We applaud Representative Lewis for introducing HB.3364 and commend Massachusetts for considering new ways of meeting the needs of the autism community.”
Prior to testifying, Long appeared with other Massachusetts autism advocates on an NPR Cape and Islands radio show, where she explained the importance of local efforts such as HB.3364.
“What it comes down to is what we’re seeing in Massachusetts with this bill,” Long said. “Things have to happen on a state level, on a local level, because it’s all in the details. State and local advocates and families really know what’s happening in their communities and what is needed.
“They know whether tax credits are needed, where more development is needed, the need for more money in the Medicaid system, etc.,” she continued. “So we are trying on a national level to help lift these voices so people know what is going on on the ground.”
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.