I have just seen that New Jersey is the 14th state in the union to pass mandatory insurance coverage for therapies for autistic persons up to the age of 21. This is an interesting video on that subject:
Very sad. One person paying three quarters of a million for therapy. One person remortgaging their house three times. One of the assembly speakers Joan Voss, whose son has Asperger's, makes the guarantee that with this bill parents will be able to purchase therapies that will allow all autistic children to be functioning adults as she alleges her son has. Bob Wright, who started autism speaks, also has a few things to say on the matter. At the end of the video the statement is made that these therapies will allow autistics to become functioning adults. Where is the proof? What person with autism became a "functioning adult" whatever that nebulous term means through any therapy? To quote the old 1980's television commercial, where's the beef? Adult autistics are ignored and are invisible. I have written about this in my essay The invisible autistic adult. At the time I wrote it some years ago, I was not aware that the children in Lovaas (1987) were adults-currently in their late 30s, early 40s. But I did ask about the adult outcomes. As I have written before, Lovaas and company have been paid at taxpayer expense to research and publish on these adult outcomes. To this day they still haven't. So one wonders if this insurance reform will really produce "functioning adults" Course that term could have a variety of semantic interpretations. Noah Greenfeld, one of Lovaas' first research subjects, may be a functioning adult, but his functioning is quite low and he will remain in institutional care the rest of his life. I think of the money my parents paid for my treatments. particularly the sensorimotor training I had which did nothing to improve my fine motor coordination, handwriting problems and perceptual motor impairments in spite of the usual claims of amelioration that were made to my folks.
I also wonder about the harm of these insurance reform bills. I currently have medical coverage on my parent's plan as a disabled dependent. I will lose that coverage when my parents who are in their 80s are deceased. Even if I inherit enough money or by some miracle I will be able to make a good living someday and purchase my own medical insurance, will I be allowed coverage after this law has been passed? After all this means that autism will be a pre-existing condition. Will parents with autistic child who don't have insurance be able to purchase it with their child's pre-existing condition. What if an autistic child needs a liver transplant or some other very expensive treatment? Also, this is not to mention how much health insurance rates and health costs, already prohibitively expensive for some with insurance rates rising will continue to rise. Does this mean others will have to pay more for their non-autism related treatments. I can only wonder.
In any event, I found this video interesting. Perhaps you will too. Enjoy.