Monday, October 03, 2011

LA Times Gets It Right: ABA Is An Autism Treatment Worth Funding

I am a frequent critic of the mainstream media's tendency to misrepresent autism disorders. The mainstream media routinely presents feel good stories of autistic accomplishments, painting autism as merely a different way of thinking and speculating that many of histories great geniuses were probably autistic.  Discussion of autism treatments ranges from riding horses in Mongolia to swimming with dolphins.  More serious mainstream media treatments of autism treatments will acknowledge that early intervention is important for successful outcomes without mentioning ABA, applied behavior analysis, the most solidly evidence backed treatment shown for many years to result in a number of intellectual, language and behavior gains in autistic children who receive early intensive ABA intervention.

I have criticized all aspects of mainstream media misrepresentation of autism including the tendency to hide the evidence based effectiveness of ABA known for many years and confirmed by authorities from the US Surgeon General to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  It is only right that I acknowledge, with gratitude, when a mainstream media institution gets it right as the LA Times has done with its clear, straight to the point,  statement about the importance of ABA as a treatment for autism disorders:

"An autism treatment worth funding


A California bill would require insurance companies to cover the cost of applied behavioral analysis for the autistic. It's good policy.

September 30, 2011

State law requires insurers to include coverage for autism in comprehensive healthcare policies. Now, lawmakers want to go a step further, requiring coverage of a particular autism treatment: applied behavioral analysis. Insurers are resisting. They don't question the effectiveness of the therapy; they just say it doesn't fit the definition of "medical" treatment. Their position reflects how crucial parts of the healthcare system are wedded to the status quo, regardless of what's best for patients. State lawmakers have passed a bill to overcome the insurers' resistance, and Gov. Jerry Brown should sign it."

1 comment:

Stranded said...

More than 30 years after its success - people are still fighting about implementing this in schools here in ontario and continuing funding for it for older kids. Its really sad.

Whats sadder is that in government programs when ABA is administered, its obsolete archaic version is being used, it is not being regulated and updated properly. The ABA world has moved on and evolved and there are some awesome teaching techniques out there - but I have kind of given up hope that the public school system will ever adopt anything that actually works.

Instead they are happy to waste 60K per child per year for baby sitting and then hand them back to you when the kid is 18 - an almost lifetime of wasted opportunity.