[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
The Home News Tribune
February 07, 1999
Autistic kid keeps mom in the fight
Agnes Cushing-Ruby is fighting a good fight. She has my support, merits yours and deserves the governors.
I met her five years ago when she was fighting to keep a teacher in place in Woodbridge. The teacher had gotten through to her autistic daughter, Danielle, and Cushing-Ruby wanted her to stay on board.
Danielle is now 12, and her progress has been rocky. “She can carry on a conversation. They told us shed never do that. But in some ways shes a 2-year-old who never grew up,” said her mother.
“She has no fear. Animals, height, nothing worries her. When she has to have blood work, she sticks her arm out. What kid does that?”
Autism is a mental disorder not easily diagnosed. It affects one in about 500 children. Most autistic children look normal in appearance; Danielle does. But they often have odd behavior. They may stare at space for hours, throw tantrums or show no emotion to others, including parents.
Some autistic people are brilliant in a narrow field, such as Dustin Hoffmans character — a mathematical genius — in the movie “Rain Man.”
“They have been described as living in a world of their own,” according to literature published by the Autism Research Institute in San Diego. What puzzles parents and medical personnel is the normal outward appearance.
When Danielle was born, Agnes already had a 6-year-old daughter who had developed normally. Danielle looked no different.
“I raised a child. By the time (Danielle) was 2, I knew something was not quite right — but they put down on one medical chart I was just a nervous parent. ”
After Danielle was diagnosed at age 3, her mother became an activist parent and today is fighting for a bill that passed in the Senate and is in committee in the Assembly.
The “New Jersey Infantile Autism Biomedical Research Act” calls for spending $1.5 million to fund research and provide training to health-care professionals. The bills text estimates the state spends $500 million a year for costs associated with caring for residents with autism.
It also suggests research into infantile autism has lagged because of ignorance, “arising from the formerly widespread but now discredited belief that autism was an emotional disorder caused by faulty parenting.” Many parents, frustrated by the behavior of their normal-looking child, throw up their arms. “I see a lot of defeatism,” said Cushing-Ruby, who refuses to lose.
She called to urge me to rattle the bars at the Governors Office, complaining that seven phone messages and three letters have gone unanswered. (Until a bill reaches the governor’s desk, she routinely keeps silent, said a spokesman.)
Who knows what $1.5 million can accomplish? Perhaps it can chip into the $500 million the state pays for care, or lead to a cure. New York, Connecticut and Maryland have autism centers in place — we are not inventing the wheel with this legislation. But it merits support.
Rick Malwitz’s column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org via e- mail.
Source: Home News Tribune Published: February 07, 1999
More With Cure Autism Now
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.