An Open Letter to all Non-Cosponsoring Senators and Representatives From Doug Flutie, Anthony Edwards, and Jonathan Shestack | May 21, 1999 #AutisticHistory #StopBigAutism

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


An Open Letter to all Non-Cosponsoring Senators and Representatives From Doug Flutie, Anthony Edwards, and Jonathan Shestack

May 21, 1999 

Dear Friend, 

On May 5th, we had the privilege of traveling to Washington D.C. to help garner support for critical autism legislation that has been introduced in both the House (HR 997 and HR 274) and Senate (S 512). 

We were there as individuals whose families have been deeply affected by autism, as representatives of grass roots organizations who are working hard to lay the groundwork for much needed federally funded research, and as Americans who recognize the devastating affect this all too common and steadily increasing disease is having on this country. 

We were joined by original bill sponsors Rep Jim Greenwood (R-8th PA), Rep Christopher Smith (R-4th NJ) and Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA and also the grandfather of an autistic child) for a productive and exciting day that included an early morning appearance on ABC, a press conference, and an afternoon of individual meetings. We’re proud to report that by day’s end we were able to add 5 Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and 20 Representatives to our list of co-sponsors. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to meet with as many individual Senators, Representatives and Legislative Aides as we would have liked. That’s why we’re writing to you today. 

This legislation has the support of over 130 of your colleagues. Please take a moment to review the list of 32 Senators and 123 Representatives who have already signed on as co-sponsors. And please strongly consider adding your name to those who have already recognized the significant difference this legislation will make in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families, educators, researchers, and clinicians throughout the United States. 

Autism is a truly devastating disorder and while it will not affect the life-span of those affected, it will require a lifetime of services, interventions and struggles – all of which are a tremendous emotional and financial drain not just on the families, but on our nation as a whole. 


Doug Flutie, 
Father of autistic son
Buffalo Bills Quarterback
Founder, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation
 Anthony Edwards,
Actor, Producer
Board Member, Cure Autism Now
  Jonathan Shestack
Father of autistic son
Co-founder,Cure Autism Now 

Cure Autism Now
5225 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 226
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone 323-549-0500
Fax 323-549-0547

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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 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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