Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I can hardly begin to thank you enough for holding this hearing. It is astounding to see all of these people who have come from all over the Nation, and I understand, Mr. Chairman, that you have arranged for two overflow rooms, and I noticed that the hall was packed when I came in. I rarely ask to make an opening statement, but I am unable to overstate the importance of this particular issue, and I look forward to hearing the testimony from the witnesses today and learning more. Mr. Chairman, oftentimes, I focus on the larger issues at hand when I address the committee, but I too am the grandparent of an incredibly handsome autistic child--an incredible boy. I cannot overemphasize how much autism affects education and family cohesiveness in the most loving of families. All of these are irretrievably affected when autism is discovered in one's own family. Mr. Chairman, when Timmy was born, neither my daughter nor my son-in-law knew that he was autistic. They did not have a clue. He was the youngest of four children, so his parents thought they knew what to expect in raising a baby. It was only later that they realized that there was something very different about Timmy. When he was diagnosed with autism, we were all worried and saddened. How would our family deal with this? How could he be educated, and how could we best provide for his future? How could, how could how could? And it went on. We had hundreds if not thousands of questions. We were shocked and frightened and worried and relieved to know what it was, all at the same time. At the same time, none of us knew what the future held, and the questions kept coming. That is why I am so very grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, for your courage and willingness to deal in areas that the Congress usually is not willing to open its mind to. Timmy is now 8 and is a beautiful young boy whom we are all immensely proud of. However, I cannot understate the challenges that our family still faces. Parents are desperate to find an answer to their questions. They want so much for their children to have integrative and communicative lives. Oftentimes, they feel at a loss, almost desperate, in trying to find answers to their questions. Many of my family's questions still remain. Day after day, we still search for answers. It is an overriding concern with all of us. While our questions are not all easily answered, even the beginning of the questions, we do somehow manage to look toward a brighter future for Timmy than we ever thought possible after his initial diagnosis. He was a gifted child in a number of areas, particularly music. But we still want to learn how to unlock the full potential of his future. All too often, people will write off such potential, but it is there. We are all sure of it. You can literally look in his eyes and see it. Mr. Chairman, autism is a very strange disorder. When Timmy was diagnosed, we were told that medical science did not know the cause of it. We were told that Timmy had about a 4 percent chance of leading a normal life, depending on his IQ. They thought autism was probably genetic, but they really just were not sure. After much research, we discovered his current schooling program, which is based on extensive research done by Dr. Iver Lovass of California. At first, quite simply, we encountered a vacuum of knowledge when it came to autism, and that shocked me. However, what shocked me even more was learning that the rate of autism has increased over the past several years, and the statistics which you show today, Mr. Chairman, are incredibly shocking. I continue to be surprised when I discover that some studies have found preliminary evidence of a link between autism and vaccines, and evidence linking dietary health to autism. Vaccines and dietary health are issues that I have been very interested in for some time now, and I look forward to hearing from the witnesses who will address these links. Mr. Chairman, we understand from the research that was the foundation of Dr. Lovass' program, ``Ready, Set, Go,'' that the chances of Timmy leading a normal life rose from 4 percent to nearly 20 percent, and this is based on the intensive behavioral intervention program developed after decades of research by Dr. Lovass. You can imagine the impact this program has had on countless children and their families. Research in this area changes lives, as I am sure research regarding vaccinations and dietary health has changed the lives of numerous others. The astounding results of research into this terrible disorder have changed the lives of many families, and as a result of this research, I am aware of families that have literally upended their lives to move across the country in search of programs like that of Dr. Lovass. Mr. Chairman, there are some remarkable programs that have developed over the years with regard to autism, in particular some amazing advances in educating autistic children. But we still need more answers. Mr. Chairman, again, let me thank you and the committee and the hard-working staff of the committee for holding this critically important hearing. For better or for worse, we must deal with this subject. This committee is taking a very important first step. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Burton. Thank you very much, Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage.
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.