Mr. Smythe. Thank you very much, Congressman Burton, Congressman Waxman, and other Members of Congress, for this opportunity to speak here for my son and for the tens of thousands of autistic children around this country and the millions of people who are affected by this, literally-- parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and so on. I will keep my remarks to 5 minutes, but I would like to make three points here, and I would like you to write these down. The first is that living with these children can be hell. They can destroy your entire home. You cannot keep anything nice around. They will ruin your rugs. They will jump off the furniture. They will move the furniture around the room, push it over, break things, clear counters with one sweep of the arm. And they do all of these things with no malice whatsoever. One cannot take them to friends' homes. One cannot stay overnight at friends' homes. When one is at a friend's or a relative's home, they will be worse there because it is a strange environment. The second point is that no one to my knowledge is consistently measuring acquired autism. And Congressman Waxman, you mentioned that there is no causal connection between autism and vaccines. Mr. Waxman. I did not say that. Mr. Smythe. That there is no measurable causal connection. Mr. Waxman. I said there is a theory, and that theory is still controversial. Mr. Smythe. Is unproven. And I would suggest to you that we are now defining autism behaviorally; that certain activity, certain behaviors on the part of these children cause them to be classified as autistic, and then, most of the medical community gives up. And there is a difference between classical autism, a child who is born autistic, that one knows is autistic, and most doctors have been trained about autism because that is the way they were born, and they show up that way; and this late-onset autism that we are seeing, this acquired autism, if you will. There is a tremendous difference, and there may be many different medical causes. But because, in our language, we are not making that distinction, we are not able to follow medical cures or even medical causation. So that is an important distinction which I think needs to be made for all of us and by the NIH. If you look at the insurance companies, if a child is labeled autistic, they will not cover it. It does not matter what the cause of that behavior is. If you look at the educational models, if you speak to the professionals in education, they do not have a distinction to my knowledge in the way that children who are acquired autistic are trained, compared with children who are classically autistic, how they are educated. The end result is that our educational models are not recognizing that some of these children may in fact just simply be sick; they may just simply be diseased. As a result, we are letting them down, and they are going through the educational system basically being warehoused, without any treatment, either medically or educationally. From a financial standpoint, the stresses are huge. When one has an autistic child, suddenly, a whole new world of potential trauma has opened up, and there is very little known on this subject with regard to treatment. We have followed a number of different treatment programs-- auditory integration therapy, vision therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and sensory integration therapy. We have participated in swimming and horseback riding, had CAT-scans, allergy testing, stool analysis and urine analysis, and all kinds of blood analysis. What we have noticed is that there is often kind of an uncaring attitude by the providers of many of these services, that ``Maybe we will find out what is going on.'' But their house is not being destroyed. They do not have the motivation or the drive, it seems, to research this process. But it is very important to research. Our school system is so overwhelmed that a recent Indianapolis Star article said that the State of Indiana has now changed the rules, so that a special education teacher can include anyone who has a college degree. What kind of special education is that? There is such a need out there, and the burdens are only going to become much greater. The waiting list for Indiana's Medicaid waiver in order for a parent to get some financial assistance here is 3 years, and as I understand, it is growing--it has to grow--with the increase in the numbers of these children. The ignorance in the insurance industry is phenomenal. I noticed that Secretary Shalala and the First Lady spoke about the use of ritalin in children, and I have heard that 10 to 20 percent of children are now on ritalin. Has it occurred to anyone that there may very well be and almost certainly is a causal connection that is related between ADD and this increase in autism; that they may be all part of one spectrum? I suggest that this needs to be looked at. But we have to make distinctions in language in order to do that. Mr. Burton. Mr. Smythe, if you could summarize, please, we would appreciate it. I know that you have a lot to cover, and we do appreciate your testimony. Mr. Smythe. Thank you, Congressman. The bottom line is that there are ways to measure how at least some of what is now showing up as autistic behavior, seems to be immune-related is affecting the brain differently from most of us, how it can be treated and then cured, and how the treatment itself can be seen to produce results in the return of blood flow to the brain. I sincerely request that the members of this panel, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services look very carefully into this process and support the healing of these children--at least the subset which is probably responsible for this large increase. Thank you very much. Mr. Burton. Thank you, Mr. Smythe. We appreciate you being here.
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.