Autism Speaks | Experts and advocates gather for 2016 Autism Law Summit | Oct. 19, 2016 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Experts and advocates gather for 2016 Autism Law Summit

October 19, 2016

The Autism Law Summit is a gathering of parent advocates, individuals with autism, autism service providers, lawyers, lobbyists and legislators from across the United States who are interested in the politics and policy of autism spectrum disorders related to health insurance, Medicaid and transition to adulthood.

At this year’s Autism Law Summit, advocates and leaders from across the country attended sessions on a wide array of disability-related topics in conjunction with the Southwest Conference on Disability.

Speakers included members of the Autism Speaks Government Affairs team; Dan Unumb, Executive Director of the Autism Legal Resource Center; and a variety of legal experts and service providers.  Attendees also heard from guest speaker, John J. Pitney, Jr. – celebrated political scientist and author of “The Politics of Autism: Navigating the Contested Spectrum.”

“The Autism Law Summit is the ultimate gathering of ‘doers’ in the autism world,” said Lorri Unumb, Vice President of State Government Affairs at Autism Speaks. “Smart, passionate people come to share strategies and hatch plans for shaping autism law and policy, and to spend quality time with friends from across the country who understand your life.  It is the highlight of my advocacy year, and many of the Summit attendees expressed the same feeling.”

Attendees also heard updates on the impact of Office of Personnel Management’s announcement that its carriers would be directed not to exclude coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for individuals with autism starting in 2017. The FEHB program covers 8.2 million federal employees, retirees and dependents.

In keeping with Autism Speaks’ “Next 10 Vision” of decreasing the time from a diagnosis of autism to accessing effective intervention, much time was spent discussing 

implementation and enforcement of autism insurance laws.  Speakers provided practical advice for ensuring that individuals with autism are able to access the services they are entitled to under their health benefit plans. 

The Autism Law Summit also addressed policy issues related to transition to adulthood, including post-secondary education, employment, vocational rehabilitation, transportation, and HCBS services. 

“We are thrilled at the amount of energy committed to finding solutions for the diverse transition needs of the autism community,” said Angela Lello, senior director of Public Policy at Autism Speaks.  “The Autism Speaks Autism Law Summit is a tremendous step forward at leveraging the passion and expertise of advocates and leaders across the country to help individuals reach their fullest potential.” 

The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism 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 workIn 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.

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