[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
ABA coverage to expand for Federal employees in 2017
March 01, 2016
The Office of Personnel Management, which manages the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), has directed its carriers not to exclude coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA) starting next year. The FEHB program is the nation’s largest employer-sponsored health benefits program, covering 8.2 million federal employees, retirees and dependents.
OPM urged its participating providers in 2012 for the first time to include ABA coverage, starting with their 2013 policies. Some did. In following years, OPM directed participating providers to either cover ABA or explain why they were not including the benefit. Gaps in coverage continued. Now, in a letter dated February 26th, OPM has instructed that “that appropriate coverage of ABA treatment by all plans/options is necessary.”
The directive, made in OPM’s annual call letter for benefit and rate proposals from FEHB carriers, emphasized “the growing number of providers and the research linking behavioral interventions with positive outcomes.” The letter further states that “We expect all carriers to offer clinically appropriate and medically necessary treatment for children diagnosed with ASD. [Carriers] may provide coverage for ABA as a fully case managed benefit, a pre-authorized service, and/or an in-network benefit only.”
Autism Speaks applauds OPM for stepping up and expanding ABA coverage for the 8 million people in FEHB plans. We have been working for many years to ensure appropriate benefits for all individuals with autism, whatever their source of coverage.
“This is an important step forward for federal employees and their families. It reflects a shared commitment that people with autism should have access to medically necessary care,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks
“This is absolutely huge news for the autism community. We applaud OPM for stepping up to the plate and requiring ABA coverage for the 8 million people in FEHB plans,” said Lorri Unumb Esq., Vice President, State Government Affairs at Autism Speaks.
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.