Hillary Clinton today unveiled her plan to help children and families affected by autism, vowing to dramatically boost research funding and support services for families caring for an autistic loved one.
Over the last 15 years, the number of autism diagnoses has skyrocketed, from 1 in 10,000 in 1993 to 1 in 150 in 2007 . About 25,000 children are diagnosed with autism each year, and 1.5 million Americans and their families are affected by autism today. Autism affects people from all racial, ethnic, and social groups though it is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. This national health crisis is costing the United States at least $35 billion each year.
“Driven by their love and devotion to their children, mothers and fathers across the country have raised awareness, demanded funding, and opened our eyes to the needs of so many of our children living with autism,” Clinton said. “It’s time we had a government and a President that recognized the seriousness of autism and addressed it head-on. It’s up to us to reclaim the future for our children, and ensure that every child can live up to his or her God-given potential.”
Hillary has long been a strong advocate for individuals and families impacted by autism. As Senator, she cosponsored the Combating Autism Act and introduced the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act, in order to ensure that Americans living with autism could have access as quickly as possible to evidence-based treatments, interventions, and services. She has a record of supporting full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, through which children with autism and other disabilities are eligible to receive special education services.
As President, Hillary Clinton will provide approximately $700 million a year to address autism through the following initiatives:
· Expanding research to identify 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
· Improving access to post-diagnosis care
· Providing teacher training
· Creating a National Technical Assistance Center
· Guaranteeing quality, affordable health care
What Autism Experts Are Saying About Hillary’s Plan
"The Autism Society of America welcomes Senator Clinton's integrated plan to support Americans with autism and their families throughout their lives. The United States is facing ballooning annual costs for a medical condition that is identified too late and treated incompletely. The investment our nation makes today in early identification, services and support will create opportunities for these individuals to contribute meaningfully in our society--as is their right. Senator Clinton's plan is a very important step in that direction."—Lee Grossman, President and CEO, Autism Society of America
“Senator Clinton’s proposal is a comprehensive plan that will help children and adults living with autism and their families today and in the future. It’s not enough to support research aimed at finding the cause and cure for autism spectrum disorders. We must also increase the availability of services to help meet the needs of people with autism today.”—James E. Williams, Jr., President and CEO, Easter Seals
“Recognizing the autism epidemic as a national public health priority deserving of Presidential attention, Senator Hillary Clinton today endorsed and detailed a number of policy positions long-supported by Autism Speaks and its predecessor organizations and long-needed by the many American families facing the challenge of autism.”—Autism Speaks
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