Clinton Unveils Plan To Increase Autism Services
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton wants to expand autism insurance coverage and job opportunities for those on the spectrum while curtailing the use of restraint and seclusion.
The steps are part of a broad plan to address the needs of the nation’s growing number of children and adults with autism that the Democratic presidential candidate unveiled Tuesday while campaigning in Iowa.
“Too many American families are staying up at night worrying about their family members, especially children, who are living with autism. There is more we can do,” Clinton said in a statement.
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The wide-ranging agenda calls for a nationwide screening effort to ensure that all children with the developmental disorder – including girls and those from minority backgrounds – are identified early. Clinton said she would push states to widen insurance coverage mandates to ensure that behavioral and developmental services are available to individuals of all ages.
The former senator said she wants to see legislation known as the Keeping All Students Safe Act that would limit the use of restraint and seclusion in schools enacted. And, Clinton said she would “toughen” the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on bullying to further protect students with autism from being victimized in the classroom.
Clinton’s plan calls for the creation of a new Autism Works Initiative that would offer resources and engage public-private partnerships to “ensure a post-graduation transition plan for every student with autism” and expand employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, Clinton said she would instruct the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct the first-ever nationwide autism prevalence study on adults.