[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Law moves children one step closer to cure
By Evelyn Tan Powers
Nov 1, 2000
The quietly overwhelmed parents of children with autism found new reason for hope in mid-October when President Clinton signed the Children’s Health Act of 2000.
The law is a victory for one parent in particular: Jonathan Shestack, producer of the 1997 film Air Force One and father of an 8-year-old autistic son, Dov.
”This is the first time the feds have paid attention,” says Shestack, 39, the founder and president of the Los Angeles-based non-profit foundation Cure Autism Now, who led the three-year lobbying effort for the law. ”It gives us a place to focus our hopes for the future.”
The law will create five national centers of excellence for autism research and treatment, coordinated by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
”It’s designed to be one-stop shopping,” says Rep. James Greenwood, R-Pa., one of the bill’s sponsors. ”Parents want to know what is the state of the art of the therapy. You will have that question answered for you by these centers.”
The law also will:
* Authorize the banking of gene and tissue samples from people with autism to aid researchers seeking the genetic basis of the disorder.
* Promote programs to educate medical professionals and the public about autism.
The law comes at a time when U.S. health officials are noticing an increase in the incidence of autism. Once thought to affect four to seven in 10,000 people, some experts now believe as many as 20 out of 10,000 are affected.
Thanks to his Hollywood connections, Shestack was able to enlist A-list celebrities to lobby Capitol Hill for autism funding. They included Buffalo Bills quarterback Doug Flutie, who has a son with autism; ER star Anthony Edwards; and, to the delight of giddy members of Congress and Hill staffers, actress Rene Russo.
The Children’s Health Act of 2000 ”sends an incredibly powerful message out to the scientific community that this is a national priority. If you are a scientist, you will be able to make a living doing research on autism,” Shestack says.
Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., another of the bill’s sponsors, says the law means that ”we are one step closer to finding a cure for autism.”
The Children’s Health Act also supports more research on other diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect children, including diabetes, asthma, hearing loss, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, infant mortality, lead poisoning and oral health problems.
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.