[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks applauds Department of Veterans Affairs for including vital autism care in insurance coverage for families of disabled veterans
Decision follows advocacy efforts by Autism Speaks and other autism groups
December 4, 2020
The Department of Veterans Affairs has informed beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) that, as of December 1, applied behavior analysis (ABA), an evidence-based treatment for autism spectrum disorder, will be allowed as a covered health benefit.
“We are so proud that after conversations with congressional staff and meaningful engagement with the Department of Veterans Affairs, we can celebrate today that children with autism covered by CHAMPVA will have access to the support they need,” said Stuart Spielman, Autism Speaks senior vice president of advocacy. “All Americans and members of the autism community deserve this access, and especially those who have given so much for their country.”
A key tenet of the mission of Autism Speaks is ensuring that individuals and families – across the spectrum and throughout the life span – have access to reliable information, services and support. Services like ABA can be critical in supporting people on the spectrum to achieve the best possible outcomes. The addition of ABA coverage to CHAMPVA benefits means that individuals and families affected by autism will have access to care that was previously not covered under this program, a health plan specifically for the spouses and dependents of disabled veterans.
Among those impacted is Shaina Purser, whose 7-year-old daughter is on the spectrum.
“All parents want the best for their children and recognize their impact on their children’s lives. Understanding that you can make a difference in your child’s development but knowing that you lack the resources necessary to help them is heartbreaking,” Purser shared. “Being able to access ABA services for my daughter is a huge relief. I feel like I finally have the tools I need to do my job as a parent in helping my child thrive, not just survive.”
“This change is happening because of the persistent advocacy of parents like Shaina Purser, who have been tireless in their pursuit of improving coverage for not just their own families, but for all beneficiaries with autism that have CHAMPVA coverage. We were proud to be a part of this effort and will work to ensure that with this policy change, families will be able to access services,” Spielman added.
Autism Speaks celebrates this action as a meaningful step toward achieving the organization’s vision of a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential, particularly for veterans of the U.S. armed services who are permanently disabled and their families. Individuals or families in need of information, resources or support are invited to contact the Autism Response Team (ART) at 888-AUTISM2 or email@example.com. For more information on CHAMPVA coverage, you can call 1-800-733-8387 or visit https://iris.custhelp.va.gov.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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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.