Funding Autism Research
A hearing was held on progress made since the subcommittee’s April 17, 2007, hearing on autism in the United States.
Dr. Insel talked about autism research initiatives the the National Institutes of Health and various statistical analyses associated with research.
He was followed by a panel of parents who testified about their experiences with autistic children and treatments for the disease
Prepared Statement of Robert J. Krakow, Esq. President, A-CHAMP
My name is Robert J. Krakow. Thank you for this opportunity to
submit written testimony regarding the epidemic of autism and
neurodevelopmental disorders that exists among our children. The autism
epidemic is the most urgent public health issue facing our Nation.
This testimony is submitted on behalf of A-CHAMP, a political
action organization that is comprised of thousands of parents
nationwide. We have supporters in every state and District Leaders in
more than 200 Congressional Districts. Most of our members have
evidence showing that their children, labeled with autism, are vaccine
injured, heavy metal toxic, with proof that their children are mercury-
toxic. Notwithstanding this focus we advocate for all children with
autism, irrespective of the possible causes of their disorders. We are
a 100 percent volunteer organization that is organized on a grassroots
and “netroots” basis. We are all parents or grandparents trying to
improve the welfare of our children.
We appreciate the opportunity to submit written testimony and to
have an A-CHAMP representative make a statement in person before the
committee. As you know, we learned of this hearing only two business
days prior to the hearing. We have had many members of A-CHAMP
contacting their Senators and the committee to impress upon you our
right and desire as stakeholders on this issue to voice our concerns
about the autism epidemic and about our children. As a preliminary
matter we wish to express our concern that only one organization
appears to have participated in the planning of this hearing and to
have been invited to testify before the committee, other than
representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and the National
Institute of Mental Health. We do recognize that once you heard our
concerns about this hearing the subcommittee was responsive to our
concerns and offered the opportunity to submit our concerns in writing.
It was A-CHAMP that alerted the larger autism community about this
hearing and urged other organizations that are concerned with autism to
attend, participate and submit testimony. This reflects a core
principle of A-CHAMP that our government must recognize that there are
many stakeholders that have claim to a voice on the issues affecting
children with autism and that, notwithstanding the claims of one
organization, it is not the case that a particular organization speaks
for all of us. I think you have learned from our telephone calls and
other communications over the last several days that no one but A-CHAMP
speaks for us or our children.
I also wish to emphasize that our organization represents many
constituents of the honorable members of this subcommittee. I have
conferred with residents of Iowa, the home of this committee’s
Honorable Chairman, Tom Harkin, and they have authorized me
specifically to state that this submitted statement reflects their
views and concerns.
These individuals include among others Dana
Halvorson, Lin Wessels, John Olsen, Ruby Olsen, Meg Oberreuter, Barb
Romkema and many others. Similarly, in Pennslyvania, home of the
ranking minority member of this committee, Senator Arlen Specter, Holly
Bortfeld, and Colleen Strom, among many others have authorized us
specifically to represent their views to the committee. This is but a
tiny portion of the parents we represent in every State of the Union.
The issue of which persons or what organization is the authentic
voice of our children is one that is not easily answered, despite the
claims that you may hear. We appreciate the responsiveness of this
committee to our concerns in this regard.
I am the father of a 7 year-old boy named Alexander who became sick
in 2001 at the age of 2 years old, after receiving flu shots that were
recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. An immunologist and
pediatrician first diagnosed him with heavy metal toxicity, immune
dysfunction, colitis, hypotonia, endocrine dysfunction, multiple
additional autoimmune symptoms and a list of other physiological
disorders too long to state here. My wife and I were told to
immediately see a neurologist. We later brought our son to a world-
renowned neurologist who observed a child who was very ill, in great
pain but who had nothing to offer but the label of autism.
My son is unable to speak but is an extremely intelligent and
loving child who is very related to his parents and sister. My daughter
is 13 years old and is in Middle School and loves her brother dearly.
I am an attorney. I spent the first decade of my career as a
prosecutor in Manhattan serving for 5 years as a Bureau Chief with the
Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York. I
have been engaged in the private practice of law for 18 years.
I became involved in working for individuals with developmental
disabilities before my son became ill. I have served as chairman of the
board of Lifespire, Inc. for 5 years. As you will read in separately
submitted testimony, Lifespire is a large 55 year-old not-for profit
with 1,500 employees that serves 6,000 developmentally disabled persons
every day–in group homes, day centers, supported work, medical
clinics, after-school programs, transition counseling and many other
areas. Lifespire, formerly Association for Children with Retarded
Development (“ACRMD”) has always served individuals with autism. In
the last 5 years we have devoted a great deal of time and resources to
developing programs for children and adults with autism. Lifespire was
founded by parents and its Board consists today primarily of parents or
relatives of individuals with developmental disabilities. We are a
homegrown, local, community-based organization, even if we have grown
large over the years. The reason we grown large is because we and
others have advocated long and hard over the past half-century to
improve services for the developmentally disabled. In our State of New
York the response has been good in some areas. In other parts of the
nation the response has been uneven. Lifespire’s concern is not
research or etiology. Our concern is client-centered individually
tailored community-based services and supports.
Now we need to confront a new emerging challenge–a very real
increase in the numbers of individuals, mostly children aged 4-17 who
are diagnosed with autism.
At Lifespire we knew very well in 2002 that there was an
unacceptably high number of cases of autism among children, that rates
of autism were 1 in 150 or higher and that there existed then, in 2002,
a looming crisis for our State. We also knew that the prevalence of
autism was something new, because for 50 years we were in the business
of serving individuals with disabilities. While autism was always
present in some of the population who we serve, it was not nearly as
prevalent among our adult population as what we were observing among
In 2002 we knew that we needed to act immediately to address the
crisis in services that would result as the leading edge of children
with autism–the cohort of increased prevalence born around the year
1990–moved forward in age. Sadly, little has been done in the last 5
years by government to address these concerns.
Lifespire provides services and does it well for a long time. The
tradition of Lifespire was born in a crucible of parent activism that
became necessary because the schools and government were not responding
the needs of families. 50 years ago parents joined together to provide
for their children, by pressuring government to do what was necessary.
30 years ago ACRMD /Lifespire parents blew whistles outside
legislators’ windows to call attention to problems with our care for
those who area least able to care for and speak for themselves–then
they were whistleblowing about infamous Willowbrook and the
institutional abuse of disabled children.
As I stated, Lifespire’s CEO will be submitting testimony
Sadly, today, things are better but children and adults with
developmental disabilities still suffer abuse and often do not get the
care that they need.
It is evident from the overwhelming response to this hearing today
that parents are once again active. Two years ago, along with some
dedicated parents we founded a national political advocacy group called
A-CHAMP, and I am honored to serve as its President. We have 10,000
supporters and we are growing. Our volunteer parent-advocates
throughout the country have already persuaded legislators in many
States to enact provisions to make vaccines safer, thus protecting
children, and to make insurance coverage fairer for individuals with
I have a message for you as legislators. Parents are mobilized. We
do not need nor do we use professional lobbyists. We find our
children’s interests are best served by direct parent-citizen
communication with legislators. We find that professional lobbyists who
may be employed by some large organizations do not necessarily
understand what our children need. Parents understand what our children
need and we are sufficiently sophisticated, motivated and organized to
make sure that our children’s voices are heard loud and clear, so that
our children’s needs may be heard, even though many cannot speak.
We urge you to get it right on this–get it right on the autism
issue. The parents know what’s right and they will be heard.
I call for what we describe as “A Culture of Advocacy for a
Lifetime of Care.” Around the State and the country parents are
learning to advocate for their children. This echoes the story of
Lifespire. My uncle and cofounder of Lifespire was a postal worker who,
60 years ago, had a child with special needs. He was also a labor
organizer. In those days there was nothing for children like my cousin,
Eugene. He and a few other parents created an organization and changed
the laws of New York State by direct parent advocacy, not through
professional lobbying. His campaign was called “A Children’s
Mandate.” My uncle is gone now for some 10 years but his son has a
home and an extended family to watch over him at Lifespire–for LIFE.
My uncle gave him the greatest legacy–a lifetime of care by people who
care. His mandate for his son and many other children was realized.
Nothing will stop the advocacy of a parent who fights for his or
her child. At A-CHAMP we have worked hard to empower parents around the
country by instilling them with the will and desire to advocate for
their children so that they will be taken care of with love and
generosity. When a parent fights for his own child he or she fights for
I say to you as legislators that this is the problem confronting
you–how to use limited resources to create a lifetime of care for our
children. Parents expect a lot from our government–you–and our
children deserve it. These hundreds of thousands of children will be
the responsibility of our government. We need to come to grips with the
problem and we need to do that NOW.
We are years too late and we are playing catch-up–we are playing
with the lives of children.
I would like to address a few specific areas that are of great
concern to me and many parents that address the subject of today’s
COMMUNITY CONTROL OF SERVICES AND RESOURCES
We have developed detailed information on the daunting costs of
caring for an individual with autism through his or her lifetime. We
know that for a an autistic adult the cost of care from age 23 through
66 will be approximately $17 million for an individual who is severely
disabled and at least $10 million for an individual who is less
severely disabled. These numbers are based on actual experience and are
explained in testimony given by Mark Van Voorst, CEO of Lifespire at a
March 8, 2007 hearing conducted by the New York legislature. I have
attached a copy of Mr. Van Voorst’s testimony. Given the Centers for
Disease Control’s recent estimate that there are exist 560,000 children
under age 21 with autism, and probably many more given the reports of 1
in 94 children in New Jersey having some form of autistic spectrum
disorder the costs of caring for our children will be staggering. We
know from hard and concrete experience that the costs will be in the
We are already many years late in addressing the demands that this
crisis will make on our resources. We will need innovative ideas in
housing, in creating bridges to our communities for our developmentally
disabled adults, and in providing therapeutic and loving environments
for our children. Most importantly, we must create an environment in
which parents will feel confident that as they grow old their children
will be provided and cared for–“A culture of advocacy for a lifetime
What does this mean? It means that when we develop a “coordinated
response” to addressing the autism epidemic we must understand that we
are dealing with individuals and not numbers. This means that we must
direct our resources to solutions that are community-based. We see in
legislation pending before this committee and laws already enacted that
one approach to the autism epidemic is to create large centralized
institutions that will address needs on a mass scale. While a massive
response to the autism epidemic is required that response must not be
overly centralized and it cannot favor one or a few gatekeeper
organizations that aim to control the autism industry. We must invest
in local and regional institutions so that we may build a community of
care. We must involve parents in homegrown organizations because only
then will our precious children receive the care and concern that they
deserve. I fear that the solutions to services and support issues that
have been promoted before Congress, including the Combating Autism Act,
do not reflect these values. I have observed that moneyed power
organizations driven by a corporate model have gained access to
Congress by professional lobbyists and have begun to dominate the
public forum on autism. For the sake of our children this trend must
I have spoken with many parents around the county, including those
in Iowa and Pennsylvania, among many others. They have told me that
what works for their children are integrated community-based programs
that address their needs and provide supports where they live. This
builds community and provides service. They require a combination of
behavioral approaches applied locally in community centers or at home
by qualified therapists, in combination with approaches that address
the fundamental physiological disorders that have cause our children to
become ill. I will address the issue of using effective non-
pharmaceutical biomedical interventions for our children later in this
statement, but the important point here is to provide services and
supports through community-based parent-driven regional and local
organizations. Our experience is that these organizations are usually
most effective if they are structured on a not-for-profit rather than a
for-profit basis. Profit making ventures certainly may have a role in
providing services but they should not be the gatekeepers or primary
caregivers of our children.
I would like to address another point that has arisen in the
context of this hearing. One witness invited to this hearing will
address a strict behavioral approach to therapy for children with
autism that focuses on delivery of service by interactive video–a
method dubbed “telehealth” that involves, in part, installing a video
camera in one’s home and engaging in therapeutic sessions by video. It
appears that the Department of Education and the NIMH have devoted
substantial funds to research in this area. I have studied this area
over the last few days and consulted with many parents about it. The
universal response to this approach to service delivery is surprise and
rejection. Children with autism are often characterized by their
inability to develop proper socialization. They cannot speak–they need
social reinforcement. It is incongruous to think that therapists in
remote locations who essentially “phone it in” can address these
problems and others.
We urge you to invest in our communities and not some technological
fix that can lay claim to addressing children with needs when in
reality it presents a method of providing services on the cheap. While
I welcome learning more about telehealth I have serious concerns about
this approach toward providing therapy for our dear children.
Autism is not genetic. A recent genetic research study that cost
more than $10 million found almost no clear indication of a genetic
association with autism. At most, the researchers found genes that
might create susceptibility to environmental toxins, but their great
breakthrough was finding a gene association in 1 out of 1,168 families.
The researchers will dispute what I have said here, but quietly other
researchers will tell you I am correct. There is no “autism gene.” We
can produce well-respected researchers to support our position.
Epidemics cannot be genetic because gene mutations occur very
slowly. The unavoidable evidence points to an environmental factor or
trigger that has caused the upsurge in the numbers of cases of autism.
Yet, little government or private research money is devoted to the
study of environmental factors.
For reasons that are not valid, research in autism has been
disproportionately devoted to genetic research. Notwithstanding the
bias by private organizations and government to fund genetic research a
great deal of peer-reviewed replicated research has shown that autism
is a physiological disorder. The emerging research research strongly
implicates environmental toxins and toxins from vaccines, including
mercury, in creating impairment leading to physiological disease.
We must have honest research that inquires into every area of
autism etiology regardless of who may find the results of such research
Parents supporting A-CHAMP almost universally believe that vaccines
have injured their children, either alone or in combination with other
external toxins to which their children have been exposed. We have also
found that treatment focused on addressing these problems have worked
to improve the health of many children and even recovered some children
fully from autism. Our children’s physiological disorders are not
comorbid or unrelated to their autism. Their physiological disorders
collectively are what autism is–and result in the observable
behavioral symptoms that we define as autism. We need research into
these treatments–research that has shamefully been ignored or set
aside because it is too controversial. Backing off from controversy
will not help our children.
Some valiant practitioners from the Autism Research Institute,
DAN!, Thoughtful House in Texas and others have developed effective
treatments and undertaken vital research that is directly helping our
children today. Why is this research ignored or actively suppressed by
our government agencies? How can “evidence-based” treatments such as
these be validated if there exists no funding for the supporting
research? The answer, of course, is that it cannot be validated. A
highly manipulated scenario has developed that has resulted in a self-
fulfilling prophecy: condemn treatments as “anecdotal” and not
sufficiently evidence-based while simultaneously blocking funds
necessary for research that will validate the same treatments. We
regard this process as a cruel and unacceptable joke that has deprived
our children of the chance for recovery. The scenario is not acceptable
and our parents will work tirelessly to change it.
Recently, we were pleased to learn that the NIMH had initiated a
chelation study. Without going into detail we were concerned about the
study protocol used for this study because we knew that the protocol
did not reflect the methods many of us have used successfully in
chelating our children, safely and effectively. We have also heard
rumors that this study has been suspended. We urge the committee to
investigate why research like the chelation study is not proceeding and
further, make sure that practitioners who have used chelation
successfully are consulted in constructing meaningful research
There are some questions raised by some about whether there is a
true increase in the incidence of autism among our children. We have
observed some so-called experts in the field revise past estimates of
prevalence of 1 in 2,000 children affected in the 1980’s as being
incorrect because current research shows a rate of 1 in 150 or higher.
We hear claims that current methods result in better counting and that
autism at current rates have always been with us but that individuals
with autism were “hiding in plain sight.” We reject such claims as
the product of an agenda promoted by those who need to deny the
existence of an epidemic to protect the vaccine program or avoid
potential liability for vaccine related injuries.
So that we may know with certainty how many children and adults are
affected we need epidemiological studies conducted by independent
researchers outside the CDC or the government. We also need a study
comparing individuals who are vaccinated versus those who are
unvaccinated to determine which group has more disease. Legislation
calling for such as study was introduced last session and will be
introduced again. We support it.
Finally, the CDC has placed barriers to access to by independent
researchers to the Vaccine Safety Datalink (“VSD”). This database can
help answer questions about the cause or causes of the autism epidemic.
The Institute of Medicine has severely criticized the CDC’s handling of
the VSD. A panel of public and private experts has found that
productive research can be conducted using the VSD to answer the
question of whether vaccines or their components cause autism, a
question not yet fully answered using the VSD. Yet to shield the VSD
from outside researchers the CDC has paid a private company millions of
dollars to house the data–data developed by the investment of millions
of dollars of taxpayer funds. We respectfully request the Senate to
conduct an investigation of this issue.
An addendum is attached to this statement that contains a non-
exhaustive list of areas of research that we believe have been ignored
and require attention.
There is great controversy over treatment for autism, as discussed
earlier in a different context. While Applied Behavioral Analysis
(“ABA”) has helped some children it is not the panacea that some
originally thought it would be. Yet, at every turn the only treatment
option offered by medical professionals and schools is ABA. The use in
legislation of the words “evidence-based” to validate treatments will
surely result in the only approved treatment covered by insurance to be
I can tell you that my son has made tremendous progress not because
of some strict regimen of ABA–the technique has been used to some
extent with him–but through the use of various non-pharmaceutical
biomedical interventions. My son’s so-called “tantrums” were the
result of one thing: severe gastrointestinal inflammation. He was in
Once this was treated my son was able to become the happy–very
related to his family–child he was meant to be. It is a myth that
children with autism are all in their own world and cannot relate to
others. It is also a myth that little can be done to improve their
condition and welfare. Much can be done; we have done it. I know other
parents are submitting to the subcommittee information about biomedical
intervention that can effectively treat autism–a physiological,
neurobiological disorder. I have met many children who have completely
recovered by children through non-pharmaceutical biomedical
intervention. Yet, few research dollars are devoted to this area. Those
who criticize biomedical interventions in autism decry the lack of
“peer-reviewed” research supporting “evidence-based” research. This
criticism is a self-fulfilling prophecy made by those who block the
very research that could support diets such as the specific
carbohydrate diet, supplements such as methyl B12, hyperbaric oxygen
therapy, safe methods of chelation therapy and many more.
At the same time pharmaceutical treatments such as Prozac, Ritalin,
Concerta, Adderall, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon and others are used even
though they are untested and unapproved for children, and have serious
side effects. While Risperdal has been approved for treatment of
irritability in autism it gained approval only through the expenditure
of large sums of research dollars, and it is most definitely not a
treatment for autism. It too has serious side effects that its
manufacturer failed to disclose until the manufacturers were pressured
to do so.
While there may be place for pharmaceuticals in some cases focus on
these non-treatments have sucked the life out of any effort to produce
research that will satisfy those who seek peer-reviewed research.
Notwithstanding this, the research has been produced, often privately.
More needs to be done.
INTERAGENCY AUTISM COORDINATING COMMITTEE (“IACC’‘)
The Combating Autism Act did expand the Interagency Autism
Coordinating Committee. But the IACC was not given sufficient authority
to conduct oversight over the NIH research agenda. In addition, for too
long the community participants in the IACC have been limited to the
same individuals from the same organizations. The IACC has been
ineffective. The key to making government responsive to the autism
crisis is to listen to the parents. They know what their children need.
Give parents a central role in fashioning government’s response to the
autism crisis. Broaden the participation in the IACC to voices outside
the ones that bureaucrats may find safe. The IACC and other government/
private committees should not be window-dressing that allows government
to make empty claims that the community participated in their decision-
making on policy. Community and stakeholder participation must be
genuine so that members of our community can say that their voices are
being heard. Many in our community believe that they are excluded from
the process and that the IACC and other committees are not functioning,
as they should in a democratic society.
Returning to the theme that introduced by testimony I want to
emphasize that our government must give all parents, not just those
from one or two self-selected groups, a central role in solving the
autism epidemic. If government fails in this area the consequence will
be a public health, political and social problem even greater than the
one we face today. A-CHAMP’s slogan is “We Are Everywhere, and We’re
Not Going Away.” We are watching our government’s response to the
autism epidemic with great attention because our responsibility to our
children’s welfare and future mandates such scrutiny.
Parents are mobilized, engaged, empowered. We are sophisticated and
smart. We are also beleaguered and our resources are strained to the
breaking point. We urgently need help now for our kids. We are ready
for government to become our partners in addressing the autism crisis–
but that means true partners in our communities, not public-private
partnerships with special interest group organizations.
On behalf of all the supporters of A-CHAMP I thank you for
convening this hearing today to listen to our concerns. We appreciate
the opportunity to be heard. Given that this testimony was prepared on
extremely short notice I will be happy to answer any questions from the
Committee to clarify or amplify the points I have made in this
SUGGESTIONS FOR SOME AREAS OF RESEARCH ON AUTISM
With respect to research we recommend the inclusion of the
following areas into a research agenda on autism and environmental
–Research related to treatment of autism as a “treatable” or
“reversible” condition. Specifically, the focus must be
placed on autism as a chronic impairment, resulting from
oxidative stress. For example, there exists evidence showing
that autism is characterized by the presence of “sick”
neurons rather than “dead” ones or even impaired development
processes (e.g., GABAergic neuron migration). This type of
research highlights the inherent reversibility of the disorder
and must be pursued with urgency in order to develop and
validate treatment of the disorder.
–Research on large cohorts of children to determine their status
based on testing for urinary porphyrins, urinary toxic metals,
urinary amino acids, organic acid tests, immune panels,
cytokine testing, chemokine testing, etc.
–Research of the use in treatment of autism of anti-inflammatory
medications such as Actos, Celebrex or Singulaire in quelling
inflammation in the gut and brain and in reducing levels or
pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines;
–Genetic research should be focused on single nucleotide
polymorphisms and their relationship to metabolic and other
mechanisms that create vulnerability to environmental toxins
(including vaccines) rather than the latest genetic research
focusing on genetic anomalies or CNV’s that have not been tied
to a biological mechanism affecting more than a tiny number of
–Research evaluating the mitochondrial status of children diagnosed
with autism. Mitochondrial impairment plays such a strong role
–Full investigation of the role of heavy metals, including mercury,
aluminum, lead and arsenic, from any source, in any form
(including thimerosal), specifically including vaccine
exposures in the etiology of autism;
–Complete access to the Vaccine Safety Datalink data by independent
researchers outside the government;
–A recognition in developing a research agenda that vaccine sourced
exposures may be a contributing factor in many cases of autism
alone or in conjunction with other environmental exposures;
–Funding of research of the biological mechanisms that may
contribute to autism;
–Full investigation of the role of viruses, bacteria and other
infectious agents independently or in conjunction with other
environmental exposures in the etiology of autism;
–Research of environmental factors, including the MMR vaccine, as
they relate to gastrointestinal symptoms and histopathological
findings” and treatment of these underlying bowel problems;
–Investigation of the effect of various metals, viruses, toxins with
each other and other environmental agents–also known as
synergistic toxicity–in the etiology of autism;
–Research of the role urinary porphyrin profile analysis can play in
measuring heavy metal toxicity;
–Research of the role of mercury and other toxicants in ambient air
pollution, including toxicants emitted from coal burning power
plants, in the etiology of autism;
–A thorough analysis of the role of thimerosal, heavy metals, and
other toxins play as mutagens and how this mutagenicity may
play a role in autism;
–The role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the etiology
and trealuient of autism
Warning: This is quackery. “Natural” and other products and pseudoscience practices promoted for ‘healing, recovery, cure’ have harmed and even killed Autistics worldwide.
Now these extremist fringe groups have expanded to gaslight the public on COVID-19 ‘cures, healing, recovery” and many other arenas.
The Autistic Community is very familiar with quack cults like this … we’ve been battling the same group who has had many identifying names like: Mercury Mob/Mafia, Antivaxxers, BleachCult, and many more. These folks and organizations also battle Autistics over our civil and human rights. The names change, but the people, for the most part, remain the same.
Fact: Autistics are not vaccine-injured and Vaccines do not cause autism.
PSA: Don’t Drink Bleach.
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.