New data from the Center for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) shows 1 in every 88 American children has a form of autism, however in New Jersey the rate jumps to 1 in every 49. Congressman Chris Smith is the author of legislation to allot 693 million in funding for research, treatment and awareness, believes the issue needs to be addressed.

Smith who has championed the issue with the passage of his Combating Autism Re authorization Act, believes this is a pandemic not only nationally but globally, citing figures that 67 million people worldwide are affected by autism.

In 1998 Smith brought an investigative team into Brick Township amidst reports of alarmingly high autism rates, using that experience to author the legislation.

While there is yet no cure or even trigger known, Smith says there have been strides made in screening out certain factors and looking more closely at others. One of the factors being considered is high dosage of mercury given to children during multiple vaccination dosages.

“Multi-dosing, one vaccination is fine but if you have five or six in one shot or in day that small young child might have difficulty metabolizing and it could lead to problems.”

He adds Thimerosalcould be suspicious as well. Smith says he spoke with Dr. Frieden from the CDCD and he believes a new study which cites a study which observed children who are 8 and under and did not receive vaccinations containing the drug which was removed from the market prior to that.

“The researchers don’t want to say ‘Yes these are the things that we think are contributors but they’re getting closer.”

Smith says one of the additional factors that complicates the disease is the delay between symptoms first appearing and diagnosis and treatment.

“From the time parents are suspicious that their son or daughter may be manifesting autism to actual diagnosis and intervention with treatment sometimes is a year, year and half, as much as two years.”

The Congressman urges that if you see signs of difficulty communicating beyond regular slowly to get a diagnosis as soon as possible because early childhood intervention and treatments are only more effective if they are done early.

Smith notes with the spike in diagnosis in the mid nineties, many of the children are now in there late teen and early twenties, which calls for a new set of programs that currently are not properly established.  He says that many of the programs, especially education ones, tend to evaporate out when participants age out into adulthood.

“The overwhelming challenge we have is the aging out individual who has aged out of all of those programs in their school.”

He notes many of the children with severe cases of autism thrive on having repetitive motions and schedules and the deviation could cause them a large setback.

Smith has two bills currently pending which would deal with services and deal with the children who are aging out.

He says the cost is causing a delay, however he believes his National Autism Spectrum Disorder Services Act , but will aim at pilot programs and Smith believes it will be passed.