Sunday, July 12, 2009

Autism Speaks Calls Health Care Discrimination Unaccaptable But "Ed' Disagrees

In Canada parents fighting for evidence based effective health care for their autistic children, and in particular for ABA, have faced determined opposition from anti-ABA, anti-autism treatment activists Dr.Laurent Mottron, Michelle Dawson and their followers. This anti-autism treatment clique has not been successful in preventing provincial governments across Canada from providing ABA coverage to varying extents. They have provided convenient cover though for a Canadian federal government which refuses to provide funding for ABA treatment to ensure that autistic children, wherever they live in Canada, receive comparable access to effective autism treatment. (The same federal government has no problem investing in the recent study by Mottron, Dawson et al that shows that high functioning autistics are up to 40 percent faster at Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM) problem-solving than non-autistics).

The irrational anti-treatment perspective also exists in the United States although it tends to be relegated to extremist Neurodiversity, Autism Hub, blogs like "The Standard Review" where the author, "Ed", says of the Autism Speaks video below:

"In the video here, Autism Speaks again promotes more misinformation using a misleading description of autism and how the goals and methods of inclusion are actually being approached.

Such claims that promote the need for normalizing behavior therapies continue to also support negative stereotypes, dangerous treatments, more abuse of autistic people, and ultimately the devastating view of autism that leads to all of this."

I don't know how "Ed" reaches the conclusions he does about the Autism Speaks video he is referencing and which is posted below. In all honesty his comments appear to me to be irrational and over the top. Ed may be one of the more extreme ND, Autism Hub, bloggers out there but I believe his views are for the most part consistent with those of the anti-autism treatment clique, including Michelle Dawson and Dr. Laurent Mottron, who dismiss the idea of curing autism as nonsense. But you can judge for yourself by playing the AS video.

I admire the work done by Autism Speaks generally although I do not agree with all of their decisions. (Autism Speaks contributed funding to the study done by the Mottron group mentioned above). Autism Speaks is right to fight against discrimination in provision of autism treatment coverage. Ideological opponents of autism treatment will never agree, or offer coherent criticism of attempts to obtain treatment for autistic children. Autism Speaks deserves full credit for standing up to these self appointed guardians of other people's autistic children.

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John Best said...

I think poor Ed is clamoring for someone to throw a net over him and cure him.

Anonymous said...

I am very pro ABA however not pro Autism Speaks for some of the reasons you mentioned. I have a real problem with this video since the woman who portrays her son in this claims that "Jack receives no help." That is not true. Actually this child receives a full ABA education in a private center which cost upwards around $90,000-$100,000 per year and it is funded by her school district. How about giving attention to the children who truly DON'T get the help they need both educationally and medically? I meet many of them each day and it is disgraceful that Autism Speaks does nothing to help those children. Autism Speaks seems to have a real problem with the truth at times.

Anne said...

Do you think that ABA instruction in schools, provided as an educational service, ought to be replaced by ABA as a medical treatment carried out by health care practitioners and paid for by insurance?

Some parents in my state of California are suing their HMO, Kaiser, to get Kaiser to provide the ABA instead of having their kids get it through their schools. Do you think that's a good idea?

Anonymous said...

I personally think school districts should be responsible for a child's appropriate education (such as intensive ABA, OT, Speech, PT, social skills groups and so on) and medical insurance should be covering any and all medical, including biomedical treatments.

I think Autism Speaks putting out a false message of a child receiving no help, when in fact the child is receiving much more help than the majority of autistic children, is just misleading and so typical of Autism Speaks. This organization has been misleading from the beginning and the pattern continues.

Anonymous said...

As an advocate I find it much easier to fight a district (in the U.S. we have IDEA on our side) than it is to fight insurance companies. Legally, seeking the appropriate therapies from a district is much more cut and dry, particularly at due process level. Putting this in the hands of the insurance companies will be a logistical nightmare, trust me, particularly when it comes to therapy like ABA. There is so much involved in terms of billable hours such as supervision hours, data collection, direct therapy, program writing, continual training of staff.. the list goes on. And the hours for one child's program may be very different from another child (one may need much more supervision, program analysis, etc.) Insurance companies will never be able to understand or care about the nature of this and thus will never fund it properly. Only those in the ABA/educational field understand this. The people associated with Autism Speaks are dreamers who really seem to have nothing better to do than get their name in the media. Autism Speaks never seems to deal with the reality of helping children and with the people who understand the complexity of this.