Friday, August 9, 2013

Will Autism Services Really Cost Us More?

…Freedom is much cheaper than oppression.
                                                -Desmond Tutu

                You may have heard of the idea of autism being covered by health insurance and them all being guaranteed the right supports in school.  You will undoubtedly have heard one thing involved in it: costs! 
                The notion that providing for or granting equality to certain groups of people has been used against every disenfranchised group whether gays, blacks, women, Filipinos-just about everyone you can think of.  With that, here’s a radical idea I could suggest: maybe it would be more expensive to NOT provide autistic people with equal access to society.
               
                It’s no secret that autistic people suffer from a wide range of social and cultural problems: depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, unemployment, and underemployment.  Over the long term what all these can cost our society can amount to having to pay more than it would cost to pay for inclusion that could prevent so many of these things.  Unemployment and underemployment lower our per capita gain.  Autistic people too often possess all the professional skills necessary for many jobs, which grow businesses creating jobs, yet lack the social skills which autism therapies could rectify.  Furthermore, when people abuse drugs and alcohol, it costs our government a lot to prosecute, imprison, and convict them. 
The biggest myth ever proposed by politicians is that autism insurance coverage would cost insurance companies.  Yet the fact is the very things they can provide would actually prevent health problems among autistics that arise from lack of social development among autistics such as lack of independence leading to poorer hygiene and lack of good diet that often leads to diabetes and other health complications.  Stress and lack of toilet training resulting from unaddressed autism can lead to bladder problems and urinary infections.  Drug and alcohol abuse arise as a result of low self-esteem due to lack of friends due to lack of social development.  To be fair, being against autism exclusion is not being against budget cuts.  It’s merely against budget cuts that don’t include them.  Providing for anyone is costly but a question that has to be asked is Why are some people paid for while others are not.  Another question that deserves to be answered or at least be food for thought, is Would we rather pay more to keep a person out, or less to give them access to society.  It seems that the government doesn’t want to pay dues to the autistic rights movement it’s spent years opposing, not money. 

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