Autism intensive treatment insurance mandates will ultimately result in lack of inclusion, segregation, and more institutionalization of autism affected individuals.
New Jersey may illustrate this concept best of all. As it has created charter schools with tuition requirements thus privatizing autism education and providing that education aside of typical peers.
If health insurance takes over responsibility for funding earliest intervention, the schools will draw back from participation in what has been decades' long involvement with evolving understandings and implementation of autism interventions that involve inclusion. Look forward to a major step backward in our public schools; to the segregation of our younger autism affected children. To charter schools being presented as the alternative and tuition required at those schools being funded by insurance mandates.
No longer will the public schools be compelled to include the autism affected child with their typically developing peers; or at least have them placed in a regular education school with supports. Now, the schools will have every reason to defer the autism affected child to a different wing, an alternate setting - and to an ultimate future of life in an institution. All because the autism mandate lobby has deceived newly involved parents who will - in an ongoing fashion, insist upon making normal, children who in many cases, will never be normal. The best analogy I can give is that the new generation of autism affected children are going to be stressed to the point of breaking by good intentions that are based on fiction.
In New Jersy they are even starting charter schools and eliminating the public school onus of providing a least restrictive environment - an inclusive ideal that allows for as much integration as possible with typical peers.
From Specialization or Segregation comes praise and critiques with regard to the new charter schools...The praise has come from some advocates who cite the need for quality programs to serve what is the largest concentration of children with autism in the country. The school would start with 50 students, from kindergarten to seventh grade, and grow within three years to 80 students. It would serve Newark students first, and surrounding cities after that.
The critics have contended the exclusive setting created in the separate school only adds to New Jersey’s black mark as one of the nation’s most segregated states for special needs children. (link)
The philosophy of intense earliest autism intervention as cure for autism or even prognosticater of better outcome, will create lack of tolerance when things don't pan out. Better said, it presents a lack of acceptance with regard to limits that those who are less than perfect possess. Our typical children may now, never learn how to learn, walk with, and live alongside - the autistic individual.
One mom in Virginia shares a little about costs for funding an intense program:
"We've had to invest a lot of money in to Aden's treatments and therapies because we want him to have a chance at an independent life", said Kashinejad.They've spent over $150 thousand to fight the disorder. Treatments for speech, occupational and physical therapy can be extremely expensive, which is why some lawmakers voted against the bill. Some call the legislation a healthcare mandate." (link)
How much is true and how much is false in the autism insurance mandate debate; will the mandates really alter outcome in a positive way for the autism affected among us? Can a lie result in truth?
False conclusions from AAP: "There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be in the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims...A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false than true." (link)
- A three year study in which involved no longer term follow up after initial gains.
- No follow up after initial study.
- After two years the behavioral group made gains as compared to the control group - but they were not significant.
- No long term follow up.
- A comparison between intensity and type of programming. No long term follow up.
- No long term follow up.
- Outcomes to the initial study of this group are questioned. A follow when the study group subjects were older indicated that they had become worse. The term recovered was used to describe children whose measured ability fell into the average range (upon initiation of programming) and (also to those) who were being educated within mainstream schools. Children with higher functioning autism could well achieve such outcomes via other interventions, and (furthermore) a follow-up of some of the recovered children at age 13 revealed a continuation of significant behavioral issues. (link)
- This initial study group result has not been replicated - to this day. (link)
- Hours of treatment for the study were the closest replication as far as intensity of hours utilized in UCLA study (Lovaas).
- While results were comparable, high hours of intense supervision were not sufficient to make up for low levels of pretreatment skills.
- ...Consistent with previous study, low IQ and absence of language predicts limited progress. All this is according to the researchers.
- ...Unfortunately, close inspection of these reports reveals that the results have been less favorable than reviewer have claimed (Dawson & Osterling)
- ...Of great concern, is that most studies have lacked even the most basic features fo scientifically sound studies.
- ...11 of 12 studies did not provide data on childrens' progress following the termination of treatment, a crucial omission because initial acquisition of some skills does not guarantee continuation of betterment or long term benefit.
- The study had no follow up.
- Early learning rates may predict outcome, but more research needs to be done.
- The answers may be gleaned from future research.
- I have this book. From when we utilized earliest intervention in our home. It says was Lovaas usually says.