President Signs Bill Authorizing Funding of Combating Autism Act
$162 million appropriated to fund autism research, services and treatment
WASHINGTON DC (Dec 26, 2007) –
Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization, today applauded as President Bush signed the Fiscal 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
The bill contains appropriations for the Combating Autism Act at the levels stipulated in the CAA, less an across the board cut of 1.747%. The cut is being administered to all programs and activities within the Labor, Health and Human Services section of the omnibus bill.
The bill contains the following appropriations:
Autism services, diagnosis and treatment at the Health Resources and Services Administration: $36,354,000, a $16.354 million increase over Fiscal 2007 ($37m was the level authorized by Combating Autism Act).
Autism surveillance and awareness at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: $16.212 million, a $1.2m increase over Fiscal 2007 ($16.5m was the level authorized by the Combating Autism Act).
An estimated $108.5 million for NIH-funded autism research.
In total, Autism Speaks expects a 2008 fiscal appropriation of approximately $162 million, as authorized by the Combating Autism Act.
Senate Subcommittee Approves Funding for CAA
In June 2007, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved funding for the Combating Autism Act as part of its fiscal 2008 spending bill.
Specifically, the Subcommittee provided funding towards the CAA authorized $53.5 million for programs at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The Subcommittee has also taken an important step toward ensuring that the National Institutes of Health follow the recommendations of and provide funding for the Autism Strategic Research Plan that will be developed by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC).
The Subcommittee provided $1 million for creation and implementation of the IACC and has required the NIH to provide a report by July 1, 2008 on its implementation of the research-related provisions of the Combating Autism Act, including funding levels for research recommended by the IACC’s strategic plan.
This appropriations bill will now go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration and then on to the Senate floor. Following Senate approval, the bill will proceed to conference committee where it will be reconciled with the appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives.
Senate Hearing: “Combating Autism: A Coordinated Response.”
In April, the Senate subcommittee responsible for funding implementation of the CAA held its first hearing on “Combating Autism: A Coordinated Response.”
Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright, along with actor and long-time autism advocate Bradley Whitford, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
Working in collaboration with other autism community advocates, they urged the subcommittee to approve funding the $168 million authorized by the bill for Fiscal Year 2008.
CAA Summary Description
The CAA authorizes $920 million in federal funding to fight autism through biomedical and environmental research, surveillance, awareness and early identification, over the next five years. This figure represents an increase of fifty percent increase in the Department of Health and Human Services spending on autism.
The CAA also identifies the Secretary of HHS as the lead agent for the federal response to autism, raising it to a cabinet-level priority for the first time. As a result of the CAA, HHS is directed to expand training opportunities to increase the number of sites for diagnosis, particularly in states that do not have them.
The Combating Autism Act (S.843) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 6, 2006, and by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 7, 2006. It was signed into law on Dec. 19, 2006, by President George W. Bush.
The law is considered by some to be the most comprehensive piece of single-disease legislation ever passed by the United States Congress.
(Note: Autism is not a disease.)
Congress passes first-ever autism bill
Families hail legislation that could provide nearly $1 billion for research
Dec. 7: The $945 million “Combating Autism Act” is the first ever bill to address autism. And it could provide research funding over the next five years.
By Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Chief Medical Editor
NBC | Dec. 7, 2006
Autism is as disturbing and distressing as it is mystifying. It’s a diagnosis with no known cause, no known cure.
“The day that 11-year-old Jodie was diagnosed with autism was the worst day of my life,” says mother Alison Singer. “There’s no roadmap, there’s no place to turn.”
And until now, families couldn’t even turn to the federal government, which has been slow to respond with attention and research dollars. A new bill seeks to change that.
The $945 million dollar “Combating Autism Act” is the first bill to address autism, and could provide research funding over the next five years. The focus? Everything from early diagnosis, to breakthrough treatments, to possible environmental factors that may cause autism.
It’s a long awaited step that could someday help children like Jodie.
“Today the Congress declared war on autism,” says Alison Singer. “This is the single most important thing that could happen for families of children with autism short of finding a cure.”
But winning federal funding for autism research hasn’t been easy, pitting lawmakers fighting for more research money against others who believe the government shouldn’t focus funding on a single disease. And it’s not over yet.
“Anybody who’s got an interest in this is going to have to keep pressure on Washington,” says Stan Collender, a federal budget expert with public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard. “Otherwise, the money’s just not going to be provided.”
While the politicians debate, the parents of autistic children regard this legislation as a milestone.
“Today, I came home, I hugged my daughter, I felt like the work that we have done as autism advocates all came to a fruition,” says Alison Singer.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.