When Did Your State Enact Autism Insurance Reform To Force ABA Coverage? | A State-By-State Guide

AutisticHistory: State Legislation History For Applied Behavioral Analysis

(imgs: Blue background with a white area for text. First image shows a blue map of the United States, followed by the list of states and a note. Full text below.)

Autism Speaks, with other parent-founded autism organizations, were instrumental in forcing insurance companies to cover the cost of the controversial and experimental autism therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).

They did this by marketing a false autism epidemic & lobbying legislation in each state to enact autism insurance reform so they could ‘save a generation of children’ from being Autistic. Autistics protested, and were excluded from having representation in legislation.

When did your state enact autism insurance reform?

Click on your state to take a deeper dive into it’s history on autism insurance reform.


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.

Find more about each state’s legislative history and folks involved go here or click on a state’s name above >>

3 responses to “When Did Your State Enact Autism Insurance Reform To Force ABA Coverage? | A State-By-State Guide”

    • Good question. I do know ABA was brought in on mental health parity acts for some states. California is one of them. I know the legislation brought it through our regional centers, employment support programs, and public schools too.

      I look forward to the day Autistic Healthcare isn’t synonymous with ABA. The harm their causing with it though, the need for PTSD/Trauma support. … was that a cost they didn’t account for in their early years assessments? Since it was going to solve all our autism problems, I suspect not.


    • Oh, what I also know is many psychiatric emergency services have no training for us — and if I showed up at my local (as of five years ago, not sure if its changed) crisis care hospital and they knew my autistic status, I’d be denied help there because they have no protocols in place for us. So they send us home and no help coming. That’s here in Fresno, California.

      I’ve heard of this in many, many places. So they are harming some of us with no help at all. Some groups are pushing for ABA coverage of more than autism now, but all developmental disabilities – I’ve seen them promoting for folks who are homeless, are ill with addiction and in workplaces for a more positive team.

      It’s astounding how much they are pushing this knowing it doesn’t work. I can only surmise at this point the money is so good they just don’t care.


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