RED HOOK, N.Y. — U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., who is the father of child on the autism spectrum, has introduced federal legislation that provides caregiver skills training to families with children who have the same condition.

Molinaro said in a statement that the legislation, known as the Autism Family Caregivers Act, is “a bipartisan bill that provides caregiver skills to families who care for children with autism spectrum disorder as well as children with other physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Molinaro introduced the bill during World Autism Month alongside U.S. Reps. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.

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Molinaro said the bill will establish a five-year pilot program that awards grants to nonprofit organizations, community health centers and hospital systems to provide evidence-based caregiver skills training to family caregivers of children with autism or other disabilities.

“These skills will teach family caregivers to use everyday routines and home activities to improve communication skills, daily living skills, social engagement and behavior management,” a statement from Molinaro’s office said.

The congressman said he personally knows how difficult it can be.

“As the father of four children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, I am excited that this bill will give families like mine the knowledge and tools to meet their children’s unique needs,” Molinaro said. “Today, we are taking another step forward in our commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities.”

In late January, Molinaro introduced a bill that would create a comprehensive database of agencies that provide support services and resources available to individuals with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities.

In an announcement, Molinaro said the “Think DIFFERENTLY Database Act” would provide “a single point of access” for individuals and families in need of those services and resources.

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