Massachusetts | Autism Politics, News & History

Massachusetts | Autism Politics, Divergent News & History

On August 3, 2010 Massachusetts became the 23rd state to enact autism insurance reform that forced insurance providers to cover Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).

ABA is known as Autistic Conversion Therapy in the Autistic Community. 

The Autism Votes initiative was powered by Autism Speaks and other non-Autistic parent-founded autism organizations.

The ’autism community’ referenced in articles here is a different community than the Autistic community. The ’autism community’ prevented Autistics from participating in legislation, Autistic healthcare initiatives and more in a meaningful manner. Instead, Autistics are used as a prop or token in these initiatives. 

Autism Insurance Reform that included ABA was being protested by Autistics as it was being hailed by non-Autistics in the ’autism community.’ These non-Autistic parent-founded organizations and people didn’t listen to Autistics then, and they aren’t listening now.  

When this legislation was implemented, Autistics were silenced in the national conversation, and our civil, human and disabled rights circumvented or denied. 

Today, in every state, Autistics and our real allies are working hard to introduce legislation to get ABA banned.

We will be heard.


Massachusetts Legislative History

Massachusetts Becomes the 23rd State to Enact Autism Insurance Reform  (Aug. 4, 2010)

Autism Speaks Joins Massachusetts Autism Community In Applauding The Senate For Unanimously Passing H. 4935 (July 29, 010)

Autism Speaks, State Representative L’italien, AFAM Join Massachusetts Autism Community In Calling For An End To Autism Insurance Discrimination (October 21, 2009)

Autism Insurance Reform Bill Introduced in Massachusetts (January 22, 2009)


Autism Politics

Massachusetts enacted autism insurance reform on August 3, 2010


Legislation: H 4935 HB 0067_001 , HB 3809

People: Deval Patrick, Frederick BerryAmy WeinstockBarbara L’ItalienLorri Unumb

Also: Advocates For Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM)


Bill History

August 3, 2010:  Governor Deval Patrick signs H. 4935 into law.

July 28, 2010Senate passes H.4935 unanimously. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

July 27, 2010: H. 4935 is passed by the House.  The bill now heads to the Senate.

July 27, 2010: H. 3809 passed by the Ways and Means Committee. Bill is renumbered to H. 4935 and heads to the House floor.

June 15, 2010: H 3809 reassigned to House Ways and Means Committee.

October 21, 2009H 3809 heard by Joint Financial Services Committee.  No vote is held.

January 2009: Autism insurance reform bill, House No. 3809, introduced in the State House by State Representative Barbara A. L’Italien and State Senator Frederick E. Berry.  The bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Financial Services



Massachusetts | The Latest …


The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”

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