Federal Autism CARES bill to continue research, education, supports: Education briefs

Federal Autism CARES bill to continue research, education, supports: Education briefs


By:  Claire Lowe
Press of AC

 

For the first time, the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will be supported with federal funding well into adulthood and “across [their] lifetime” if the President signs a bill approved by Congress last week.

The Autism Coordination, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act of 2019, authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), builds upon the current law, which expires in September, and shapes federal autism policy and investment in research, early detection, and research to develop new treatments and therapies for those with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

In addition to reauthorizing existing federal autism programs through 2024, the legislation strengthens those programs by adding the phrase “across the lifespan” where appropriate to ensure they can address the needs of individuals with ASD and other intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout all stages of life.

The law could have a big impact in New Jersey, which has the highest rate of autism in the nation, with one in 34 children diagnosed. Nationwide, one in 59 children nationwide have autism, according to the latest study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).