Cure Autism Now | It’s time for us to pick up the pace | April 1998 #AutisticHistory

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

Los Angeles County Bar Journal
April, 1998

It’s time for us to pick up the pace

By Marc Adelman
President, State Bar of California

    During my inaugural address at last September’s annual meeting, I asked our membership to take on issues involving representation of our children in need. There are more than 2.3 million children in the state of California living at or below the poverty level. There is no better group suited to advocate on their behalf than the attorneys of the State Bar of California. Representing their interests in special education matters, the presentation of claims for insurance, health, SSI benefits and homeless issues can make a major difference in that child and their family’s lives. 

    Past State Bar president John Seitman warned me shortly after my address that something always seems to get in the way of an agenda set by the State Bar president. I remember wondering what could get in the way or be more important than representing the needs of our children. 

    Countless attorneys, bar associations and other professionals immediately responded to the challenge involving children at risk. Unfortunately, I quickly learned what John was talking about and how our goals could promptly be side tracked. 

    Three weeks into my term, the bars fee bill (SB 1145) was vetoed, creating the greatest crisis ever to face the State Bar in its 71 year history. 
    Responding to this challenge has been the focus of every moment of my time, as well as that of the hard working, dedicated members of the Board of Governors and our new executive director, Steve Nissen. 

    By the time this column gets to print, our emergency fee bill will have come to vote on the floor of the assembly. In addition, my wife Erin and I will have complete another difficult undertaking, finishing the Los Angeles Marathon. 

    Running the Los Angeles marathon with Erin afforded me an opportunity to spend time with her (which we rarely get these days) while training, contribute to a cause near and dear to our family, revisit my agenda of helping children. We ran the race to raise funds and promote awareness of the “Cure Autism Now” Foundation (C.A.N.), an official charity of the Los Angeles marathon that advances research seeking a cure for autism. 

    Autism affects some 400,000 individuals in this country, including, as some of you know, our son Ben. Our efforts prompted more than 3,000 letters soliciting support for our run on behalf of C.A.N. 

    American Bar Association president Jerome Shestack, a member of the Board of Directors of C.A.N., has a 5-year-old grandson with autism and has joined in the effort, sending out letters urging his colleagues to contribute to our cause. He even hosted a send-off party for us. This summer we will be running in two other races – the American Heart Association’s Third Annual “Lawyers Have Heart” 5K Run in San Diego on June 18 and then in Sacramento on July 11 – to help increase the public’s awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke. 

    If I’ve learned anything as an athlete, it is that the race is never really over, there is always one more challenge and room for improvement. We can always do more – and be more efficient, more focused, more productive.

    It occurs to me that running a marathon is an apt metaphor for the endurance contest currently in progress at the State Bar. Many of us at the State Bar have been locked in an unrelenting race against time since Oct. 11, when Gov. Wilson vetoed the fee bill. The starting gun went off that very day. Since that time, the Board of Governors has shown tremendous courage and determination in closing the gap between the issues addressed in the veto message and the Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg’s emergency bill.

    Just consider how far we have come. We have listened to the views and concerns of the governor, legislators and our membership. We have endorsed a new fee bill – AB 1669. With the help of local bars and many individual bar supporters, the Hertzberg bill cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Some or our supporters have concerns about the proposed legislation, but we cannot afford to come to a standstill; we must move forward while continuing to seek the best solution possible. Without emergency legislation in the very near future, our 71-year-old State Bar could be forced to shut it’s doors as early as June.

    As I write this column, the full Assembly has yet to vote on the bill. In the meantime, my colleagues and I are continuing to talk to attorneys and legislators across the state – to illustrate why we cannot afford to hobble California’s State Bar and to show our willingness to address concerns and rebuild. With the bar’s current crisis reaching a critical stage, it is time to pick up our pace. The Lawyers of this state need to hear from California’s legislature and governor soon. We need to finalize a fee bill so that we can respond to the public and our membership and rebuild a State Bar that – regardless of its future structure – will meet the needs of attorneys and consumers into the next millennium.

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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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