Robert Menendez

US Senator for New Jersey
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Menendez Reacts to New Survey Showing 1 in 50 Children in U.S. Are Identified As Having Autism

Says "We Need a Comprehensive Federal Response to Combat Autism"

March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — Following the release of a new survey showing 1 in 50 children in the United States have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today reaffirmed his commitment to helping children and their families who are living with the challenges of autism. These latest estimates were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Survey of Children’s Health, and provide a different, parent-reported view on the prevalence of autism than previous government estimates and studies. Nonetheless, Menendez says "the need for a comprehensive federal response to combat autism remains clear."

"These new numbers further corroborate what other studies have shown: there is a desperate need for us to redouble our efforts to help these children learn and develop into happy, productive adults," said Senator Menendez. "Whatever the level of severity, the rates of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders are shockingly high in New Jersey. That's why I will continue being a leader in the Senate to help ensure these children and their families have access to the tailored, specialized care they need. And I will continue fighting for funding to help continue research into new diagnostic methods and therapies for this complex disorder.
 
“Seeing these numbers year after year also reminds us of the challenges these children will face as they grow up and become young adults, and the steps we must take to help families through the difficult decisions and limited options they face during that transitional period."

Last year, the CDC released a study estimating that one out of every 88 children are diagnosed with autism based on estimates from expert clinical reviews of medical and educational records in 14 states. That same study showed shockingly higher numbers in New Jersey with one out every 49 children being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
 
Menendez is the Senate’s leading advocate for children with autism, and was the author of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act which extended federal efforts into research, screenings, therapies and public education on autism. He is also the author of legislation to address the challenges of young adults and their families as they “age out of the system”.
 
CLICK HERE for the National Survey of Children's Health. CLICK HERE for a news report on the findings.

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