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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Is ABA therapy evil?

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM
  • 19 Replies

The state of Utah is getting very close to passing legislation that insurance companies have to cover therapy for Autism. There is a man speaking at the state capital on Monday named Dwight Stringham who is against the bill (HB 57). He is also opposed to HB 88 that is up for renewal (the program my son is in).

He claims, "I have 9 children, at least 8 of them have some level of autism.  This includes one severely impacted 10-year-old who is completely non-verbal.  I know autism, and I OPPOSE the current autism bills."

I have googled his name and come up with nothing on this man except the information on the Utah State Legislature page

http://le.utah.gov/publicweb/MCKELMK/PublicWeb/14940/14940.html

He claims ABA is cruel! My son is currently in doing 15 hours a week through the Utah Medicaid Autism Waiver Program. When he ages out, I do not know what we will do. We will probably have to stop therapy because we cannot afford it on our own.

My favorite quote..."Here's my suggestion -- find out what autistic (or former autistic) people think."  Awesome! I would love to hear how someone no longer has Autism.

My concern is that there will be a few legislators that will buy into this guy's b.s. I wonder if this man is helping out insurance lobbyists.

He's provided a phone number to call him, but I'm not sure it's a conversation I want to have with him especially after looking at the links he provided.

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MomOfOneCoolKid
by Gold Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:38 PM

He should mind his own business.

Families are more than capable of making decisions for themselves of what therapies they want for their children. He can have an opinion. That's fine. But to impose your opinion about what therap somebody else's child should or shouldn't have by **law** -- that's wrong

repetition
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

The problem right now is that there is no law that ABA therapy has to be covered by insurance companies. He is trying to stop the bill from passing. He's also trying to stop HB88 from not being renewed. I don't think he stands a chance on that one.


EDIT: I tried quoting your reply momononecoolkid, but instead I quoted mine. Sorry not good at this.

LadyAmaranth
by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Oh geez. Have to look into this. I'm in Utah and hadn't heard this.

My son doesn't do ABA therapy but he may need to, don't know. Either way this guy is a twit. He have documented proof of his claims that it's evil or that all but one of his kids is on the spectrum?

People like that irk me.

Gloria1025
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM

If you look there is information about cases of children suffering from PTSD as a result of "bad" ABA.  However, I personally do not think the incompetence of a therapist/few therapists are a reason to block the availability of therapy that has data to support it. I also do not believe ABA therapy works for every child and should not be forced on anyone.  But to take away the option from everyone because of a bad experience (if that is really the case for this gentleman) I feel is wrong.  If this is a real concern of his, he should support the bill but work that it contains provisions on the training requirements, licensing and monitoring of the professionals who are giving the therapy in my opinion. 

ineedcoffeemom
by Brittaney on Feb. 28, 2014 at 5:35 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think ABA is evil. I also don't think it would work very well for my child. I'm upset that ABA is the only autism specific therapy out there actually being mandated to be approved by insurance. I wish RDI and Floortime therapies would be options that had to be covered by insurance as well. 

NiyasMom1
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:46 PM
I agree with you. I don't think that ABA would be a good fit for my DD and that's why I never pushed the issue but it is great to have it as an option, but I haven't heard any laws being pushed for other therapies like floor time. It would be nice to just have more of a choice if these laws are going to be passed.

Quoting ineedcoffeemom:

I don't think ABA is evil. I also don't think it would work very well for my child. I'm upset that ABA is the only autism specific therapy out there actually being mandated to be approved by insurance. I wish RDI and Floortime therapies would be options that had to be covered by insurance as well. 

NatureMomof3
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM
This is so true. There is no one therapy or mix of therapies that work for every child and family. OT was the biggest help for us but we've also done ABA social skills, ST, Pragmatic Speech social skills and PT. I say we because I try to use the things he learns in our everyday life. My son is thriving now but what worked for us isn't the answer for every kid on the spectrum.

We need a wide variety of therapies covered by insurance so that each child can get the right mix without bankrupting families. I know there are a lot of families like mine who are stuck in "the middle" -- we make too much for Medicaid but not enough to afford medical therapies out of pocket. There have been times when we spent more on therapy than our mortgage payment!

Quoting ineedcoffeemom:

I don't think ABA is evil. I also don't think it would work very well for my child. I'm upset that ABA is the only autism specific therapy out there actually being mandated to be approved by insurance. I wish RDI and Floortime therapies would be options that had to be covered by insurance as well. 

lady_katie
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm surprised to read that this person believes in "recovery" but not in ABA. That seems like an uncommon combination to me. 

Well, as an autistic person, I think that ABA is completely necessary in some situations, and a poor fit in others. I think that a lot of autistic people would agree. Especially those like Carly Fleishmann, who likely would not even be able to communicate without having gone through it. She's in college now. 

MomOfOneCoolKid
by Gold Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:54 PM

 

Quoting repetition:

The problem right now is that there is no law that ABA therapy has to be covered by insurance companies. He is trying to stop the bill from passing. He's also trying to stop HB88 from not being renewed. I don't think he stands a chance on that one.

 

EDIT: I tried quoting your reply momononecoolkid, but instead I quoted mine. Sorry not good at this.

 I understand. Insurance companies should cover it.

Linda733
by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I agree with you. My sons in home therapy is not covered by insurance. They go by your income and use a sliding scale to calculate your copay. A few years ago all Early Intervention in NJ was free! I know that NY still offers the therapy to all families free of cost! The outpatient therapy my son receives of course has to go through insurance. When my husbands job lost their coverage because of his boss not paying the premium, the hospital gave my son services free of charge until he was insured again. I'm lucky he goes to such a great children's hospital :) 

Quoting ineedcoffeemom:

I don't think ABA is evil. I also don't think it would work very well for my child. I'm upset that ABA is the only autism specific therapy out there actually being mandated to be approved by insurance. I wish RDI and Floortime therapies would be options that had to be covered by insurance as well. 


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