Obama Signs Autism Act Renewal
With little fanfare, President Barack Obama signed a reauthorization of the nation’s primary autism legislation that includes more than a billion dollars in federal funding for the developmental disorder.
Signed on Friday, the law calls for $260 million annually through 2019 for autism research, prevalence tracking, screening, professional training and other initiatives.
The measure known as the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, or Autism CARES, serves as a renewal of what’s previously been called the Combating Autism Act. That law, which was first enacted in 2006, was set to expire September 30.
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In addition to ensuring continued funding for existing federal initiatives, the new legislation requires that a point person be designated within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee autism research, services and support activities.
The measure also includes changes to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and mandates that a new report be conducted focusing on the needs of young adults and youth during transition.