[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Nebraska Becomes 36th State To Require Autism Coverage
April 21, 2014
LINCOLN (April 21, 2014) — Nebraska became the 36th state to enact autism insurance reform today when Gov. Dave Heineman signed legislation requiring certain insurers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism up to age 20. The new law, which takes effect with new health policies issued for 2015, requires up to 25 hours a week of behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA).
Heineman said he was signing the bill, LB.254, “on behalf of families who meet the challenges of autism every day.” The bill was sponsored by Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln, who has worked for years with families and autism advocacy groups, such as Autism Speaks, in winning autism insurance reform.
“I care about this issue because I have seen the impact that this treatment can have on the future of a child with autism,” said Coash. “Positive things can happen when they receive life-changing treatment. These families are strong willed and they never gave up on the bill, so I wouldn’t either. Today is a special day.”
“This is a great day for Autism families in Nebraska,” said Vicki Depenbusch, Autism Speaks’ advocacy chair for Nebraska. “It gives us hope that our children will be the best citizens that they can be.”
Depenbusch’s son, Jacob, who has autism, and Heineman (pictured right with Vicki Depenbusch and Coash) met at a parent teacher conference in 2010. The two have communicated regularly and attended events together over the last four years. Jacob calls himself the “Governor’s Buddy.”
The new law requires coverage for speech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as pharmaceutical care for the treatment of autism. No visit or dollars are imposed on those services.
Behavioral health treatment, however, was capped at 25 hours per week and insurers will be able to review treatment plans every six months. Certain state-regulated group and individual health policies, as well as state employees, will be covered.
In addition to Nebraska, Utah has enacted autism insurance reform in 2014 and Kansas expanded its 2010 law, which was limited to state employees, to cover its kids with autism. Similar bills remain active in Hawai’i and North Carolina, and legislation that would raise Maine’s age cap from 5 to 10 was just sent to the Governor.
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.