[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
New law will improve access to an evidence-based autism therapy in North Carolina
May 19, 2021
On May 17, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law a bill that will help people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the state more easily access medically necessary behavioral therapy.
The legislation, SB 103, creates a professional license for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), the professionals who provide applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA is a broad term that includes the behavior therapies that are evidence-based and widely accepted by insurance companies. “SB 103 streamlines the path to what for many families is an incredibly critical treatment,” said Yashira Cangas, mother of a son with autism.
“On a personal level, SB103 allows the BCBA our son has been with for ten years, to finally have autonomy over his therapy program. It levels out the playing field so that his therapy company can better compete with other states for the best and brightest therapists for our son. This also paves the way for more available providers, and shorter wait times during times of therapist transitions. I can’t emphasize how these legislative changes translate to actual real-life and first-hand improvements for our son and for our family,” shared Cangas.
Before this law, BCBAs were required to operate under the supervision of licensed psychologists. This hurdle has led to fewer ABA providers, long wait lists, higher costs and reduced access to treatment for individuals with autism, particularly in rural areas. Furthermore, North Carolina has had difficulty recruiting and retaining behavior analysts as they are unable to independently practice. North Carolina was the only state in the country with this type of restriction.
State Rep. John Bell and State Sen. Jim Perry served as the legislative champions of the effort.
“This bill is a game-changer for thousands of families affected by autism in North Carolina,” said Bell. “Thank you to our former colleague Rep. Chuck McGrady and those before us who worked so hard in previous sessions to get this much-needed bill approved.”
“By streamlining these regulations, this bill will expand access to treatment and reduce costs for children with autism in North Carolina,” said Perry. “This is a huge win for these families, especially in rural areas that are in desperate need for more providers.”
Kyle Robinson attended the signing ceremony with his wife Bobbie and son Samuel. He remarked, “We know firsthand the struggles families face seeking ABA services in North Carolina. Our family traveled across the state for over two years in order to find the services Samuel needed. This will allow more kids like Samuel to receive the help they need to reach their full potential. Thank you Autism Speaks for your tireless efforts over the past several years in making this possible for families in North Carolina.”
The legislation creates a five-member state board that will issue and revoke the licenses of applicants. Licenses will be valid for two years and subject to renewal. Applicants must be at least age 18, pass a criminal history record check, pass the board’s Certified Behavior Analyst examination, and have active status with the board. Most of the provisions took effect on May 17, 2021, the day it was signed.
Photo 1, from left to right: Yashira Cangas, Governor Roy Cooper, Niko Cangas, Monique Baker, BCBA
Photo 2, back row from left to right: Representative John Bell, Representative Zack Hawkins, Christa Stevens (Autism Speaks Director of State Government Affairs), Patrick Ballantine, Senator Lisa Barnes, Kyle Robinson, Senator Jim Perry. Front row from left to right: Governor Roy Cooper, Samuel Robinson, Bobbie Robinson
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.