Today, I was proud to sign the Autism CARES Bill! We support research for Americans with Autism and their families. You are not forgotten, we are fighting for you! pic.twitter.com/syyaLR0sNq
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
President Donald J. Trump signed the Autism CARES Act of 2019 into law today. The new law, which was sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith and and Rep Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, provides $1.8 billion in federal funding over five years to help children and adults with Autism and their families.
“This $1.8 billion, five-year package will fund a whole-of-government approach to helping children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families,” Smith said. “When enacted the law will authorize autism-related programs at National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $296 million, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at $23.1 million, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at $50.6 million annually.”
The bill also helps adults with autism who are often misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed and overlooked and emphasizes that causes, diagnosis, detection, prevention and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) must be available throughout the lifespan of a person with autism. According to Drexel University’s AJ Drexel Autism Center, about 70,700 to 111,600 children “age out” into adulthood each year creating challenges for education, housing, employment and access to health care.
“The problem of ‘aging out’ of services is a real hurdle every parent or caretaker of a child with autism inevitably faces,” Smith said. “All children grow up and become adults, and children with autism then lose their education services. But autism is a lifetime neurological disorder, and adults with autism continue to need their services. The Autism CARES Act recognizes that and ensures that the federal government continues to help hundreds of thousands of parents by funding research and support programs and sharing best practices.”
- authorizes $1.8 billion for National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) reauthorizes and expands the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC);
- adds new members of IACC from the Departments of Labor, Justice, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development;
- increases from two to three IACC members who are self-advocates, parents or legal guardians and advocacy/service organizations;
- empowers the Health and Human Services Secretary to prioritize grants to “rural and underserved areas” and;
- requires not later than two years after enactment, a comprehensive report on the demographic factors associated with the health and well-being of individuals with ASD, recommendations on establishing best practices to ensure interdisciplinary coordination, improvements for health outcomes, community based behavioral support and interventions, nutrition and recreational and social activities, personal safety and more.