Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wesley Romey Says It Is Time for Medicare for Autism

If you listened to anti-ABA advocates like Michelle Dawson and Dr. Laurent Mottron you might erroneously think that ABA oppresses autistic children. These staunch opponents of ABA for autistic children, with little or no direct experience themselves with ABA as an autism treatment, have made representations to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Canadian Senate in a continuing campaign to prevent government funding of ABA treatment for autism in Canada.

Ms. Dawson and Dr. Mottron conduct this anti-ABA campaign despite reviews by responsible, credible agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Surgeon General, the MADSEC (Maine) Autism Task Force, and the New York State Department of Health, all of which have confirmed that ABA, based on hundreds of studies over several decades of research, is effective at realizing persistent gains in intellect, communication and socialization skills and improved positive behavior.

Michelle Dawson is an adult diagnosed autistic who often offers her perspectives on behalf of all autistic people, including her anti-ABA biases. Unlike Ms Dawson, Wesley Romey is a 13 year old autistic boy, diagnosed as a child, who has actually received ABA treatment and advocates for Medicare coverage of autism treatment, specifically ABA, as he did compellingly at a rally Saturday in Surrey, British Columbia. As reported by Surrey Now Wesley enthralled the audience with his comments:

"We want medicare for autism and we want it now!" he cried to the crowd, and was met with a standing ovation.


Wesley, though, was the speaker who particularly touched the crowd. Wesley shared with the audience his success with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. He urged listeners to demand the government fund autism treatment, because he is proof that it works.

"I want to say this to every Canadian out there. It's not fair that every child with autism doesn't get the same chance that I did. If you don't stand up for your children, who will?"

It is time to break the self perpetuated myth that Michelle Dawson speaks for all autistic persons in her opposition to ABA treatment for autistic children. She does not have the experience, the expertise, or any legitimate moral basis, to oppose effective, evidence based, ABA treatment for autism.

It is time the federal government stopped holding sham "national autism symposiums", with keynote speakers like anti-ABA advocate Dr. Laurent Mottron, and started acknolwedging the credible agencies like the AAP, the MADSEC Autism Task Force, the New York State Department of Health and the US Surgeon General that, based on objective reviews of hundreds of studies, confirm ABA as an effective autism treatment.

It is time the federal government read the Senate report "Pay Now or Pay Later" and started taking Canada's autism crisis seriously with1 in 150 children being diagnosed with autism.

It is time that the federal government started listening to the thousands of parents of autistic children across Canada who are fighting tooth and nail to obtain ABA treatment for their autistic children while such treatment will be most effective.

It is time, it is long past time, that the federal government stop ingoring the plight of so many autistic children and their families.

It is time, it is long past time, that all autistic children in Canada in need of ABA treatment receive such treatment in timely fashion regardless of which province their parents live in.

Take it from Wesley Romey, it is time for Medicare for Autism NOW!


Anonymous said...

Once again, very good points. I've always wondered what the big problem that the neurodiversity movement has with ABA. Michelle Dawson likes to pick apart the minutae of the scientific studies and claim that they are flawed, however she has already proven her bias by equating ABA with an abuse of human rights.

I've always viewed ABA as a highly structured form of education that is designed to help overcome the observational learning deficits that many autistic individuals have. I think many in the neurodiversity movement have an archaic view of ABA and base their opinions on that.

I just want to thank you Mr. Doherty for your reason and intelligent commentary.

I know its not easy being caught in between the neurodiversity nutbars and the alternative therapy whackos.

Anonymous said...

It is important to note that Michelle Dawson is a self-proclaimed "autistic" who has never had a formal diagnosis. A newspaper report has revealed that she has supposedly "self-diagnosed" herself. Much evidence suggests she is an opportunist who is seeking profit and attention by exploiting public ignorance about autism.

Temple Grandin, a real autistic who is NOT against ABA, says:

"The problem is, you talk to parents with a low-functioning kid, who've got a teenager who still goes to the bathroom in his pants and who's biting himself all the time. This guy destroys the house, and he's not typing, no matter what keyboards you make available. His life is miserable."

Why do people like Michelle Dawson never talk about how miserable these children get without treatment? That's because they want the fame and fortune of Temple Grandin but have nothing to contribute, so they resort to any method imaginable, often at the expense of truly disabled children.

jypsy said...

It is more important to note that Mr. Tamer's comments about Ms. Dawson are pure defamation.

I hope he will formally & publicly retract them here, and in the other places he's published them.

Unknown said...

Hello jypsy

I know you are a long time friend of Ms Dawson's. Can you specify what comments by Mr Tamer about her are defamatory in your opinion and why?

jypsy said...

"In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image."

"It is important to note that Michelle Dawson is a self-proclaimed "autistic" who has never had a formal diagnosis."

This is a communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated to be factual, that may give Ms. Dawson a negative image, defamation by definition.

The truth:

[53] Ms. Dawson testified that she was diagnosed, as being autistic, for the first time in the
early 90’s, both by M. T., who had a Ph.D. in psychology and was a researcher at Université du
Québec in Montréal, and by Dr. K.

The rest of Mr Tamer's statements are in this same vein. Let's put the onus on Mr. Tamer (or yourself, if you believe he is not being defamatory) to provide evidence that what he published holds any truth.

Unknown said...


you have established that Mr Tamer's comment about Ms Dawson's self diagnosis was erroneous. That error does not mean that his other remarks are erroneous.