The Candidates’ Autism Plans by Dr. Chew

8 01 2008

I found this and thought it was worth sharing:

The Candidates’ Autism Plans

by Kristina Chew, PhD on November 24th, 2007

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her autism plan in Sioux City. She called for for $700 million in funding for autism research and education and criticized President Bush for failing to fully fund legislation such as the Combating Autism Act (CAA); Clinton noted that she co-sponsored the CAA and also, earlier this year, the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act. Referring to autism as a “national health crisis” (as quoted in the Associated Press), Clinton said that “‘we don’t know how to cure it, and we don’t even know the best ways to treat it.’”Autism initiatives that Clinton proposed taking include:

  • Expanding research to identify causes of autism by doubling investments in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) efforts to identify the causes of autism, and monitoring its impact across the country
  • Creating an Autism Task Force charged with investigating evidence-based treatments, interventions, and services
  • Providing planning and demonstration grants for services for adults: Clinton will provide funding for for a one-time, single year planning grant for states and a multi-year service provision demonstration grant program to increase access to appropriate services to adults living with autism, including job training, housing, and transition services for young people leaving school. 
  • Improving access to post-diagnosis care, so that children can start receiving services as soon as possible after they are diagnosed.
  • Providing teacher training: Clinton will provide funding for school districts to ensure that teachers responsible for educating children with autism receive specialized teacher training, including ways to engage in appropriate interventions
  • Creating a National Technical Assistance Center that will gather and disseminate information about autism treatments, interventions, and services, and provide technical assistance; this information would be accessible through the Internet.
  • Guaranteeing quality, affordable health care: Clinton’s American Health Choices Plan would enable individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities to have access to quality, affordable health care for their conditions. Citing the costs of insurance and insurance premiums, Clinton pointed out that her universal health care plan would enable families to afford health care as good as that currently received by members of Congress.  Her initiatives do directly address some of my own main concerns regarding autism, namely: Education and teacher trainings; services for adults who need them; insurance coverage. 
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