Letter to Senator Frist, Jeffords, Kennedy, Dodd, DeWine, Reed, and Bond, by Jon Shestack, co-founder of Cure Autism now | July 2000 #AutisticHistory #StopBigAutism

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

Letter to Senator Frist, Jeffords, Kennedy, Dodd, DeWine, Reed, and Bond, by Jon Shestack, co-founder of Cure Autism now

Dear Senators Frist, Jeffords, Kennedy, Dodd, DeWine, Reed and Bond: 

On behalf of the more than 400,000 Americans who suffer from autism and the millions of other Americans who love and care for them, I am writing to thank you for your sponsorship of the Children’s Health Act of 2000. Your decision to include the provisions on autism, originally sponsored by Senator Gorton, within your comprehensive pediatric research agenda is courageous and more than commendable. 

As I know you are aware, autism afflicts at least 1 in 500 children. Its direct costs are at least $13 billion per year and its indirect costs are incalculable, not only in terms of the lost potential of a child trapped and unable to communicate, but also in terms of the whole family who must often care for that child for a lifetime. 

Moreover, increased Federal efforts with regard to autism are justified both by the historic neglect and faulty science which has marked the record of the medical response to autism and, most importantly, because there is so much promise today for scientific progress.

The provisions relating to autism which you have included in your legislation comprise a comprehensive public health response to a genuine public health crisis. Your legislation will expand, intensify, and coordinate the activities of the NIH with respect to the research on autism, will provide for access to samples of tissue and genetic materials necessary for the research on autism, will allow the CDC to get to the bottom of the apparent epidemic of new cases of autism and will provide for a program of public and physician education on autism necessary for early diagnosis and effective early intervention. 

Cure Autism Now (CAN) enthusiastically endorses Senate passage of the Children’s Health Act of 2000. We stand ready to assist you and your staff in any way possible to enact this legislation this year.


Jon Shestack

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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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