[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Military Families Ask Congress to Fix TRICARE
April 09, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC (April 9, 2014) — Military families raising children with autism and Down syndrome today called on Congress to overhaul insurance coverage provided under TRICARE for applied behavior analysis (ABA) during Capitol Hill briefings organized by Autism Speaks. Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Tom Rooney (R-FL), who have championed TRICARE reform bills in the past, said they remain committed to improving ABA coverage for military kids and will soon introduce new legislation.
Kimberly Kapacziewski [left], whose son Cody, has been diagnosed with autism, came to Washington from Fort Benning, Georgia, where her husband, Joe, serves as a sergeant first class with the Army Rangers. Kapacziewski lost the bottom part of a leg to a hand grenade while serving his fifith tour in Iraq in 2005, but later returned six times to active duty with the Rangers as an amputee.
Patricia Heath [right], whose daughter Marissa has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, is stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola, Florida with her husband, Brandon, an Army master sergeant.
They were joined by Dr. Paul Wang, Autism Speaks’ head of medical research, and Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks’ associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. The wife of a retired Marine, her son has autism.
Kapacziewski said she and her husband had to travel to an Army base in Texas simply to find a pediatric specialist who could diagnose their som with autism. Medical professionals said Cody needed a minimum of 25 hours a week of ABA therapy, but TRICARE caps benefits at 12 hours.
“Her husband has already sacrificed a leg for his country, does he have to sacrifice a child too?” Larson said.
Heath said her daughter received three years of ABA therapy and was making tremendous progress when TRICARE cut off all benefits in 2012 by limiting coverage to children with autism, excluding those with Down syndrome, Fragile X, Angelman syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Her daughter soon regressed and once briefly wandered from home.
Driscoll said advocates or TRICARE reform are calling for ABA coverage to be made permanent for all children with disabilities, expanded access to treatment by allowing more trained providers to deliver reimbursable services, and continued vigilance over the Department of Defense to insure military dependents receive care that is consistent with best practices.
Wang cited the continued growth in the prevalence of autism which now affects an estimated 1 in 68 children. The benefits of ABA in treating autism and other developmental disabilities has been amply documented, he said, noting a recent endorsement before Congress by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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.