Surprise Senate Hearing on Combating Autism - Community Not Notified
We learned for the first time Thursday that the Senate has scheduled a hearing Tuesday, April 17, 2007 entitled "Combating Autism: Undertaking a Coordinated Response". There was no notice of this hearing to the many autism organizations other than Autism Speaks and possibly ASA. We learned of it only because one of our CAA Watch A-CHAMP District Leaders inadvertently heard of the hearing from a highly placed source.
Many of us have placed calls to Subcommittee Chair Sen. Harkin's staff, including members of our strong Iowa contingent. None of us have had the courtesy of a return phone call.
The list of witnesses is pasted below.
On the second panel are two representatives of Autism Speaks and Dr. Judy Favell, former President of the American Psychological Association, Division 33. Dr. Favell is a behaviorist who received a large Dept of Education grant to research the provision of services to children with autism by interactive video. The program, called "telehealth" involves installing a video camera in one's home so that families may engage in therapy sessions at long distrance by video.
Dr. Favell appears to be closely associated with three for-profit ventures. One is Advoserv (www.advoserv.com), a Florida corporation that provides residential and other services in Florida, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The second is Cnow, billed as committed to being the "nation's premier telehealth solutions provider." (http://www.cnowinc.com/) The third venture is the National Institute of Telehealth, which develops the behavioral treatment plan that is implemented via video. Telehealth and telemedicine research is being funded by NIMH, headed by Dr. Insel, one of the witnesses at the hearing. (http://tinyurl.com/2uzyje)
No stakeholders are participating in this hearing.
Welcome to the BRAVE NEW WORLD of autism.
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Hearing Schedule for the Week of April 13, 2007
For more information, media should contact (202) 224-3904.
Tuesday April 17, 2007
2:00 p.m. Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education SD-124
Agenda: Combating Autism: Undertaking a Coordinated Response
Witnesses: Panel I:
Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Thomas R. Insel, Director
National Institute of Mental Health
Robert C. Wright
Vice Chairman and Executive Officer
General Electric Foundation
Dr. Judith E. Favell
Chief Executive Officer, AdvoServ
Executive Director, The Celeste Foundation
Mount Dora, Florida
for Autism Speaks Organization
New York, New York