Autism Speaks™ Co-founder Bob Wright and Actor and Advocate Bradley Whitford Appear Before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee to Advocate for Combating Autism Act Funding
Seeking Initial $168 Million in Federal Funding for Autism Research, Awareness and Early Identification Efforts
WASHINGTON, DC (April 17, 2007) — Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright, testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill, today urged Congress to appropriate $168 million for Fiscal Year 2008 to fund the Combating Autism Act (CAA).
Signed into law by President Bush last December, CAA is landmark legislation that authorizes $920 million in federal funding over the next five years to fight autism through biomedical research, surveillance, awareness and early identification. This figure represents a fifty percent increase in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spending on autism, a neurobiological disorder that now affects 1 in every 150 children according to the latest CDC statistics.
For FY ‘08, the CAA authorizes $168 million to the Secretary of HHS for autism activities, including three specific line items: $16.5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct its Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research program; $37 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration to carry out an Autism Education, Early Detection, and Intervention Program; and $114.5 million for NIH-funded autism research.
“The public health crisis posed by autism requires an extraordinary response. With every new child diagnosed with autism costing an estimated $3 million over his or her lifetime, we cannot afford to rely on standard, ‘business as usual’ practices,” stated Wright in his testimony.
“The autism crisis demands a focused, coordinated, and accountable response by our public health agencies, similar to the federal response to the AIDS crisis in the 1990s, with line-item appropriations for autism intervention, surveillance and research tied to a strategic plan.”
Actor Bradley Whitford, a long-time autism advocate, also presented testimony at the hearing.
“The unanimous passage of the Combating Autism Act by both houses of Congress can be an historic turning point,” Whitford told the Senators.
“Now the burden falls on you, on this subcommittee, to turn Congress’ promise on autism into reality.”
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric, and Chairman, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
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.