[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Congress Gets New Bill Ramping Up Federal Response To Autism
May 12, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC (May 12, 2014) — A proposed five-year extension of the Combating Autism Act has been introduced in Congress, calling for $260 million annually in new federal funding, a revamped Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IACC), and an initiative to address the growing needs of adults with autism. The law will sunset September 30 unless extended by Congress and President Obama.
The bill, HR.4631, was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) [left] andRep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) [right], the cochairs of the Congressional Autism Caucus, with 36 other original sponsors. Since the original Combating Autism Act was signed in 2006, over $1.7 billion in federal funding has been dedicated to autism research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), prevalence monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and professional training.
“Autism Speaks commends Representatives Smith and Doyle for their bipartisan leadership in spearheading this more aggressive federal response to autism,” said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. “The prevalence of autism has soared 123 percent since the first Combating Autism Act was passed and the federal response has struggled to keep pace. Autism is the fastest growing neuro-developmental disorder in the country. The CAA provides a framework to meet the needs of the autism community.”
The new reauthorization bill proposes:
- Dedicating another five years of federal funding for autism activities at an annual level of $260 million
- Designating an official in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the IACC’s strategic plan
- Assigning the Democratic and Republican leaders in both the Senate and the House of Representatives one appointment each to the IACC
- Directing the General Accounting Office (GAO) to submit a report, with stakeholder input, on the demographics and transition needs of adults on the spectrum
“We need to work overtime to build on the successes CARA is producing for individuals with autism and their families,” said Smith. “This is a critical investment that is working to determine the cause of ASD, identify autistic children as early as possible to begin treatment, and producing better awareness, new therapies and effective services. The quality of life of many children is at stake, as it is with young adults who age out of the support services in educational systems.”
Doyle said the reauthorization would provide the federal resources to continue important research, while protecting against duplication of effort. “The latest autism numbers are simply astounding, and it is imperative that Congress come together to address this issue,” he said
“Without reauthorization, funding for all federal autism programs will cease on September 30, 2014,” Doyle added. “This common sense legislation simply must pass with bipartisan support.”
The new funding would include on an annual basis $190 million for the NIH to advance new research, $22 million for the CDC to continue monitoring autism prevalence, and $48 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to train the nation’s medical professionals how to detect and address autism. The proposed funding is based on the current appropriations levels approved by Congress.
The GAO would be directed to report back to Congress within 18 months on the needs of adults with autism, focusing on community integration, housing and residential supports, employment, transportation, vocational training, continued education, health care, speech therapy, public safety, and day activities. The GAO would be directed to survey various stakeholders in assembling the report.
The new bill would also reform the IACC by giving Congressional leaders a role in making appointments, and stepping up the HHS role in implementing the committee’s strategic plan. The IACC was created to coordinate the response of the numerous federal agencies which address autism.
Reporting to Congress on the advances resulting from the CAA, the IACC said “significant strides” have been made in addressing many of the pressing needs of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder. In particular:
- The CDC has continually updated its estimates on the prevalence of autism in U.S. children, now 1 in 68, while finding evidence that more children are being diagnosed by age 3, potentially gaining opportunities for early intervention
- New and improved instruments by NIH for identifying children with ASD at increasingly young ages and a strengthened evidence base for early behavioral treatments has yielded new opportunities to improve skills and reduce disability, both before school age and once a child enters the education system
- NIH-supported studies have uncovered distinct differences in the brain development of infants later diagnosed with ASD, while other research has identified potential environmental risk factors, such as nutrients, air pollutants, pesticides, and paternal age
- Research into conditions that co-occur with ASD, such as gastrointestinal disorders, sleep disruptions, and epilepsy, are contributing to interventions strategies
- Through comparative analyses of the effectiveness of therapies and interventions for children and adolescents with ASD, the evidence base has expanded for therapies such as computer-assisted care and mental health therapeutics
- Federal agencies are identifying and evaluating best practices among services and supports across the states
- Practitioner training has been improved while efforts have stepped up to reach affected individuals in more isolated parts through toolkits, websites, and telehealth delivery systems
- The Autism NOW website, supported by the Administration for Community Living, offers videos and toolkits on a range of issues spanning from early interventions to relationship building, employment, and family supports and training
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.