A newly passed bill reauthorizes $1.3 billion in funding for autism research and programs for the next five years. The "Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act of 2014" (HR 4631), authored by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ 04), focuses on research and urges federal agencies to anticipate the needs for autistic children who are "aging out" of current programs and will need services as adults.

The bill is the successor to the Combating Autism Act of 2011, also authored by Smith, which allocated money for autism research, including early diagnosis, programs for families, and addressing children who will be "aging out".

Of the $1.3 billion, $110 million will be allocated for the Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research Program at the CDC, $240 for Autism Education, Early Detection, and Intervention, and $950 million for research grants at the National Institute of Health and Inter-agency Autism Coordinating Committee.

The measure received bi partisan support with Congressman Mike Doyle (PA 14) acting as the bill's cosponsor.

While the CDC's most recent data shows 1 in every 68 American children being on the Autism spectrum (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls), New Jersey has the highest rate in the study with 1 in every 45 children having Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Smith championed the cause of Autism research after having several constituents from Brick reach out to him, noting their communities had disproportionately high numbers of students with autism. Leading smith to introduce the ASSURE Act of 2000-one of the earliest bills addressing autism research and diagnosis.


 

 

authorizes$1.3 billion over five years for research into autism and urges federal agencies to examine and anticipate needs for autistic children who are “aging out” of current programs and need different assistance as adults.