The END of Autism Awareness

Are you one of those people who feel a twinge of sympathy when you read/hear about a story on the news about mentally handicapped children? I know I am. I’m constantly seeing commercials on late-night television about the miracles being performed on kids born with some form of genetic trait, struggling to handle a spoon in their cereal. I read about celebrities in gossip magazines… well, I hear about people reading gossip magazines filled with stories about this or that charity supporting people with disabilities. Cancer-research, Leukemia, Down’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, etc., the list could go on forever.

The point I’m trying to get at is wouldn’t it make you extremely mad to know that people in your own country are trying to cheat the people who teach these handicapped children how to read, write, eat, put on clothes and even just communicate with their parents?

Well that’s exactly what’s going on now. At this very moment, a large majority of the insurance companies supposed to pay for these extremely specialized special-needs teachers are doing exactly the opposite. They take your insurance premiums and are happy to do so, but when it comes time to pay the teachers, they are making up dozens of excuses or reasons why they shouldn’t have to pay them. Does that sound fair?  It’s not like this is the easiest job in the world. Trust me, you and I are not as patient, kind, caring, understanding, constantly frustrated and under-valued as these people are. How do I know this? Maybe your asking yourself, in what way is this author qualified to speak on the subject?

To put it bluntly, my fiancée is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (ABA therapist). Her name is Joyce, and she is currently one of the foremost experts on children with learning disorders. She has lived and worked in the Maryland/Virginia area( GO DMV!) for basically her entire life, and above all else, gets barely any credit at all for doing a tremendous service to humanity.

If you’re imagining an overweight, middle-aged, primary-school special-ed teacher, you’re not even close to getting it right. She has multiple degree’s in psychology, sociology, child psychology, as well as master’s degrees specializing in behavioral science/early mental development. She was the dorky asian girl in the front of the classroom with straight A’s and a too-big pair of glasses, destined for scientific research. She has published countless papers, has apprenticed dozens of other board-certified therapists, and generally speaking, is the first person I would EVER think of calling if my kid had a learning disability.

She is also being ripped off, so to speak. The worst thing about this whole situation is that this isn’t just some random third-rate insurance company we’re talking about here. She works as an independent contractor for TriCare, aka: the Insurance company that provides for most members of the US Military. We’re talking every branch of the US Armed Services. These are the men and women of our country that are out there everyday, protecting our country from threats both domestic and foreign. Think about it, these brave soldiers and their loyal families will soon be unable to find anyone to take care of their mentally handicapped children.

They wont find anybody because of the hush-hush, recently-adopted policy of TriCare to continually refuse payment to special-needs therapists/educators. This is how it usually works: A potential client with some form of insurance looks online or gets a referral to her by other means. This family calls Joyce and asks if she has any time slot available to help their child/children. Depending on whether or not their insurance covers special-needs education/learning disabilities education, they either have to pay a small co-pay, just like going to the dentist/doctor, or completely out-of-pocket. The cost of these sessions can cost between 100-300 dollars an hour or more, depending on their reputation, experience and level of education or certification.

Depending on the child’s ability to learn, most of these teachers insist on between 5-10 hours a week at minimum. Ask yourself, how many people do you know that can afford to pay that amount of money on their own? Without the help of a “respectable” insurance company, very few people can afford to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a week on top of their other necessary bills. Children with developmental disabilities CANNOT be cured, regardless of any drugs, surgery or any other modern forms of medicine. The only treatment with proven empirical results is Applied Behavior Analysis, otherwise known as Behavior Therapy.

If insurance companies such as TriCare, United Healthcare and Cigna refuse to pay for ABA therapy, claiming it isn’t a medical necessity, these children with developmental disabilities have a 0% chance of becoming a fully functional individual, capable of independent-living. The goal of all behavioral analysts is to integrate their patients into society, improving the quality of life for their families and teaching them critical life skills. In return for all this hard-work, TriCare has chosen instead to cancel ALL BCaBA(Bachelor-level Behavior Analysts). They have not cut out all BCBA(Master-level Behavior Analysts) work-compensation yet, but they have already begun to delay, deny, or refuse their weekly payments.

For the past 6 months, TriCare has accepted and verified Joyce’s weekly sessions, authorizing her claims and yet refused to pay her out except in the most minimal increments. Their claim is that they have to do “further research” on what is ABA therapy, choosing instead to have them starve, or suffer for no reason whatsoever. Remember that they are still collecting insurance premiums this entire time. Just for example, a colleague of her’s was held without a single payment for 6 whole CONSECUTIVE months! She still contracts part-time for TriCare, but is now forced to take on private clients or risk total financial collapse.

So what good reason could these insurance companies have for refusing to pay these honest, hard-working people? In my opinion, they are just making excuses so that they can line their own pockets. The economy is bad for everyone, but even worse for these analysts who are barely getting paid at all. For all the research, all the success stories, all the good-natured charities working to further the cause…

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more damaging or damning to Autism Awareness, or developmental disabilities in general, than refusing to pay the researchers and analysts in the field. Hopefully something is done soon, before the US falls behind in yet another category, due to corporate greed, deception and lies.

Usually at this time of the year, my fiancée would be thinking about what presents to buy for her clients and where she would be going for the holidays. This year she has to worry about anxiety-issues, trouble sleeping, and how she’s going to pay the bills. All we can do is hope and pray that my paycheck and her leftover savings will be enough to pay the rent this month. Things would probably be different if a TriCare official had a child with Autism.

Wong_83@Hotmail.com

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Howard County, MD: Animal Police… Above the Law?

I don’t know about you…but personally I have had not a single good dealing with the Howard County animal police.

These completely self-serving bastards are fully content in the knowledge that they can abuse and flaunt there powers-even above the law-to justify their every actions.

I’m here to you today to BEG and PLEAD for some sort of justice; Anything that will bring these mockeries of the american justice-system to light.

Put in a nutshell, I don’t see why my dog and my family have to suffer through the endless hounding and predation these so-called harbringers of “justice” attempt to force upon my household and my beloved puppy.

Yes, I have watched the Animal Cops television-show, even the ones involving cities other than mine, such as Houston, San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore and even Michigan.

If you have ever seen even one episode of this series, one full episode, you probably came to a similar conclusion to the duties and responsibilites of this “Enforcement-Agency.”

The things I have seen are sometimes so atrocious that certain images have to be blurred or blacked out all together, such as the dead horse(which starved from years of neglect/mal-nutrition) who died while the animal police were standing near it.

The animal was quickly surrounded by the stench of death, the release of it’s suddenly relaxed bowel muscles and a staggering number of horse-flies/green-bottle flies.

I have seen countless other animals who were completely abused, and/or never felt the comfort of human companionship for their entire lives.

Dog-fighting, refusals by the horrid owner(s) to provide even the smallest amount of sympathy and/or medical care for their run-down animals… even to the point where the animals appear to be nothing more than caricatures of their former selves.

In most of these instances, I completely agree and side with the animal police, I mean come-on! These are certainly some of the most drastic cases of animal abuse ever recorded.

Which brings me to shed some light on the majority of supposed ‘Animal-cruelty’.

~

In the past year and a half, the Howard County Animal Cops have shown utter disdain fo the well-being of both the animal-owners and their pets, going so far as to sneak in and check on animals(especially my 2-year old beagle named, “Cha Siu Bao”) over the slightest report that the animal is being abused.

I’m just gonna level with you, my readers and possible supporters who have ties to Howard County, MD or live close enough to care.

My two-year old male beagle lives a very happy life, being fed better than most humans do, has no known ailments -such as: fleas, worms, heart-worms, malnutrition or anything on the sort- and above all else is given weekly loving showers and brushings that IMO make him one of the healthiest Beagle specimens on the face of the planet.

So why is it that the basic job of the Animal Police supposedly is to keep pets from being abused, malnourished and/or abuse from their current owners, yet time and time again, pick on someone such as myself who have a limited income in what I believe is an attempt to seperate my fiance and I from our loved own… Cha Siu is perhaps closer to family than even some of my own flesh and blood.

I’m not that rich. I hold down two jobs and my fiance holds down one full-time job, just to make enough to survive and perhaps add just enough to our savings so that hopefully we will eventually save enough to live at least a comfortable life, years down the road.

In the past year, thanks totally to the unyielding, power-hungry Animal Police, our family has spent well over 10,000 dollars in fines/yard maintenance/labor and income loss due to the time off needed to right our affairs, in terms of appeasing the Animal police.

Not once have I been allowed to go to court to rectify the situation and even if I were allowed to proceed to court in order to deny the allegiations, it would cost me even more to hire a lawyer to condemn these power-hungry mockery of the Justice System.
So basically, the Animal Police stole my beloved Cha Siu Bao the Beagle without a search warrant, grounds for removal or even a legitimate basis for removal.

Their reasoning consisted of this. A single empty lighter-fluid container was found on the entire premises, as well as a small amount of shattered glass, in no way harmful to our beloved animal, was found after extensive searching of the grounds.

Let me remind you that there was absolutely NO search warrant involved, nor were any pictures taken of so-called evidence found on the scene.

I am sick and tired of the Animal Police harassing us at least twice a month, over nothing more than a dubiously placed lighter-fluid container which probably was placed there by someone else.

The minute amount of glass is neither sharp nor in quantites that could in any way possibly harm my most beloved animal.

And here’s the catch…The glass, which neither I nor the previous Animal Police inspector even bothered to document as evidence, is now a significant hazard to the well-being of our healthy-as-an-Ox, beagle puppy.

In this day and age, a HUMAN has the right to a fair trial to contest these allegations. Instead, I or my roomate were cited and fined over 800 dollars, told that we either pay these fines(before court hearings of course) or within 10 days our dog would be put up for adoption.
Is this just? Doesn’t this in every was devalue or basic justice system by giving the Animal Cops immunity from being held responsible for their abusive and harassing actions?!

I want, not just for myself but for all the other owners who have been treated like rubbish, some sort of recourse and justice!!!

If you live in the MD area, please let me know what can be done.

In order to get my dog back, I will have to pay these trumped-up fines without the benefit of consul, or my dog will be given away in adoption way before the court date is set in early July.

I’m BEGGING you guys. Please help me figure out a way to punish these arbitrary dealers of questionable justice… I just don’t seem it’s fair that even with legal consul, I will lose my dog withn the next week…. unless I pay the 800 dollar fine they just decided I needed to pay.
If you have any words of wisdom or advice on what to do next, PLEASE don’t hesitate to respond. I really could use some advice on how to bring these corrupt and self-righteous enforcers of animal law… TO JUSTICE!

Michael,

Wong_83@hotmail.com