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Dachel Media Update: Teachers, Ava's Law, Flapping

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Mar 23, 2013, WHAG-TV: Local Teachers Trained to Better Work with Autistic Students

Mar 12, 2013, CNN: Mothers fight to pass Ava's Law for autism coverage

Mar 12, 2013, Orange County Register: Autism: My son is never more free than when he flaps


"A consortium program at Lord Fairfax Community College is helping local teachers get a better understanding of the autism spectrum for their students.

"'We try to teach the parents and the teachers how to effectively manage the kid's behaviors,' says Shamsi Sadeghzadeh, the director of outreach services at Grafton Integrated Health Network. 'What we have learned is that the number one reason that the kids on the spectrum of autism are excluded from the community, or from regular education, is because of their challenging behaviors.'

"The Grafton staff finds that, often times, autistic children who misbehave are punished. So, they are training teachers and parents to teach appropriate behaviors to replace bad ones, rather than simply giving a punishment."

Incredibly, this news report tells us that teachers have to learn what autism is so they can deal

with the autistic kids they have in class. I would love to have talked with the veteran teachers sitting

there. I would have asked them why this is necessary. Have they simply ignored these kids in the past?

Why do teachers need to be taught about autism? Sadly, it's more acceptance. No one dares ask what's going on here because no one really has an answer and no one's worried about it.

I didn't leave a comment.


"If passed, Ava's Law would require insurance companies to pay for 'evidence-driven treatment' -- or treatment that's been scientifically shown to help kids with an autism spectrum disorder. The law would not affect the self-insured plans offered by bigger companies, which cover about 60% of insured people in the state, according to the Georgia Office of Insurance..

"Their effort has set off alarm bells with some insurance companies and businesses, which fear the impact of paying upward of $50,000 per child per year for intensive therapy."

This is what I posted on the story: 

Why isn't anyone asking why over one percent of our children have a disorder no one ever heard about 25 years ago? Why are we always talking about children with autism? Why can't anyone show us a comparable rate among adults? Why do experts believe us that 80 percent of autistic Americans are under the age of 18? Why have we had two decades of officials telling us that autism has no known cause or cure?

All those warning us that autism is costing too much need to realize that there are a million children with autism who will eventually age out of school and become dependent on the taxpayers for their support and care. When that happens, no one will be able to refuse to pay. The cost of care for a generation of Americans with autism will be the responsibility of the taxpayers.

We're told here that lifetime care for one person with autism amounts to $3.2 million. Actually that's from a study done by Michael Ganz in 2006 at Harvard. I contacted Ganz at that time and he told me that his figure was "conservative." Others put the eventual autism price tag at between $5 and $7 million per individual.

America needs to address autism as the health care emergency that it clearly is.

Orange County Register

"A young autistic man in his late teens was calf-deep in the Pacific Ocean, his shoulder length hair still wet from his earlier tandem ride atop a surfboard, his bright red safety vest still snugly secured around his upper torso."

"Watching this young man in this profoundly organic state, I was able to finally see what flapping is - a beautiful expression and fundamental right of those who engage in it. And I saw what it isn't - an inappropriate behavior in need of being fixed. I knew then that I would never tell Andrew to have "quiet hands" again.

"It is one of my favorite things about my son now, his flapping."

This is acceptance. I have no words for comments here. What else can the mom say? No one offers answers.

Hand flapping? It's part of autism. That's the way it is. She might as well learn to live with it.

I remember the first time I observed my son stimming in the living room. I couldn't get his attention. He just kept rocking. I was so scared. I could never see myself somehow reconciling myself with this activity. Sadly, hand flapping, toe walking, head banging, spinning, ...all this is acceptable. It's autism.



Re: "accepting" hand-flapping in people with autism.

Hand-flapping is also a symptom of mild carbon dioxide poisoning. "Accepting" symptoms that we know are not normal, and even glorifying them as this article does, allows individuals to continue to be poisoned rather than remove the poison from their system or protect them (and others) against future poisoning.

Cynthia Cournoyer

A law requiring insurance companies to cover evidence driven treatment. What about "Alex's Law?" If there is no treatment, there can be no coverage!!!!

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