Georgia | Autism Politics, News & History

Georgia | Autism Politics, Divergent News & History

Georgia became the 41st state to enact autism insurance reform on April 29, 2015.

The reform 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. 

Georgia Legislation History

Georgia 41st State to Enact Autism Insurance Reform (April 29, 2015)

Georgia 41st State to Pass Autism Insurance Reform (April 2, 2015)

Georgia Autism Insurance Reform Deal Reached (March 26, 2015)

Ava’s Law’ Introduced in Georgia Senate (February 22, 2013)

Marcus Says Georgia Governor Pledged to Sign Insurance Bill (February 21, 2013)

NBC 11 Airs Weeklong Series ‘The Autism Gap’ (February 18,2013)

Georgia’s ‘Ava’s Law’ Wins Autism Speaks Endorsement (February 12, 3013)

Autism Speaks Joins Georgia Families in Praising Senate for Unanimously Approving Study Committee of Insurance Issue (March 12, 2009)

Autism Speaks Joins Georgia Parents and Autism Advocates in Denouncing Georgia Chamber’s “Trillion” Dollar Claim (March 10, 2009)

Autism Speaks Endorses 2009 Georgia Autism Insurance Reform Legislation (February 18, 2009)

Autism Politics

Georgia enact autism insurance reform on April 29, 2015.

LegislationSB 161HB 426, HB 309, SB 397, SB 191

AKA: Ava’s Law

People: Johnny GrantKatie Dempsey, Tim Golden, Nathan Deal,

Bill History


February 25: Georgia Senate votes 51-0 for SB.397

February 19: Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Tim Golden introduces “compromise” Ava’s Law, SB.397; new bill is voted unanimously out of committee

February 4: Ava’s Law Rally heald at Georgia Capitol

January 16: Gov. Nathan Deal includes autism insurance coverage for state employees, public teachers in his state budget proposal


November 18: Special Advisory Commission votes 7-4 to issue negative recommendation on Ava’s Law

June 4: Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Benefits takes testimony on Ava’s law

March 11: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee hears Ava’s Law; bill sent to Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Benefits 

February 22: Ava’s Law, SB.191, introduced in the Senate

February 12: Ava’s Law, HB.309, introduced in the House

2009/10 Session

April 2, 2010: Legislative session ends without passage of autism insurance reform.

March 12, 2009: The Georgia House does not vote in favor of Ava’s Law, but instead votes unanimously to approve that a committee be appointed to study the issue of autism insurance reform

March 10: Ava’s Law is voted out of the House Insurance Committee and moved to the floor for a vote

March 6: Ava’s Law has hearing in full House Insurance Committee.  No vote is held.

March 4, 2009: Ava’s Law is voted out of the Senate Committee and out of the House Subcommittee.

January 17: Both the Georgia House and Senate introduce autism insurance reform bills (Read Senate Bill 161 and House Bill 426)

Georgia | 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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