Colorado, USA : Bill to declare Autism an Epidemic
The bill directs the executive director of the department of public health and environment (director) to convene the governor’s expert emergency epidemic response committee (committee) for the purpose of determining whether there is an autism epidemic in Colorado.
The committee shall review autism data from 1990 to 2017 from every Colorado county and across all age groups. If the committee determines there is an autism epidemic, the director shall advise the governor to declare that an autism epidemic exists in Colorado; that reasonable and appropriate measures be taken to address the autism epidemic and protect the public health; that departments with publicly funded safety net programs update their plans to include the autism epidemic; and the percentage at which the state will contribute money to the autism epidemic.
The committee shall prepare a report documenting its reasons for determining whether an autism epidemic exists and provide a copy of the report to the governor, the director, and each member of the general assembly.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)
Autistic Responses from the Âûtistic News Feed
Via John Greally, Autistic Ambassador (NZ) –
I emailed the following to the sponsor of this bill, Rep. Steve Lebsock (Democrat):
“As an autistic person, I find it EXTREMELY insulting to have my neurology considered an ‘epidemic’, especially when autism isn’t a disease, isn’t contagious, isn’t fatal, and has no reason to have such a negative term associated with it.
- Have you ever even met any autistic people?
- Had a conversation with any of us?
- Discussed what it’s like to be autistic?
- Asked how being autistic, in a world not set up for autistic folks, affects us?
- Asked us about how your time, money, and research would be better spent on how to provide supports and services for us?
Autism epidemic? No, there’s an epidemic of ignorance and you seem to be a victim of it. . . .
Autistic Activists ….
If you would like to email, his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you can call, the phone number is: 303-866-2931
His Twitter account is @RepLebsock and his most recent tweet says this:
“What is causing the dramatic increases of autism? Not sure. Reason for the bill. Center for disease & prevention declares an epidemic of influenza when 7.7 cases per 1,000 people. In 2012…10.8 cases of autism per 1,000 Coloradoans. @CDPHE #copolitics #coleg Time to get to work”
. . . HE COMPARED AUTISM TO THE FLU. This man has absolutely no clue what autism even is and he’s trying to have a say about autism, from a governmental standpoint?!
This is so wrong.
Thanks for anything you can do as an Autistic or Allie. — John Greally