The autism CARES Act of 2019 seeks to improve the availability and quality of services for individuals with autism. With an increasing number of people on the spectrum, this is a necessary reform that will have tangible benefits in addition to improving public awareness.
The “autism cares act 2021” is a bill that was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 6, 2019. The purpose of the bill is to make autism-related services more accessible to individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families.
On September 30, 2019, the Autism CARES Act of 2019 was signed into law as an extension of the original Autism CARES Act of 2006. For the next five years, this new legislation expands services and financing for autism and Autism Investigations.
The Autism CARES Act of 2019 (Autism CARES Act):
- Funding for Autism Investigations is increased.
- Supports and reauthorizes initiatives that offer help to autistic persons.
- The Interagency Autistic Coordinating Committee (IACC) is given more authority when it comes to government reporting and reviewing present autism services.
- Aims to enhance autistic community services across the course of a person’s life.
The Autistic CARES Act is the principal funding source for autism services, research, and training in the United States. The following is a step-by-step explanation of how the legislation works.
The Autism CARES Act’s Background
President Trump signed the Autism CARES Act of 2019 (H.R. 1058) into law, which is a bipartisan piece of legislation.
The first Autism CARES Act, also known as the Combatting Autism Act, was approved in 2006. In 2011, and again in 2014, it was reauthorized (when it got its current name). It was reauthorized and signed into law at the end of September in 2019. It will be operational for a period of five years.
Autism is an incurable condition that affects one out of every 54 children in the United States. This chronic neurological condition is notoriously neglected and understudied.
The Autism CARES Act increases funds for both research and therapy. The bill also increases reporting to the federal government and extends monitoring of autism services. The revised bill increases the yearly funding for autism-related initiatives to $370 million.
Autism programs have traditionally targeted children and teenagers. The Autism CARES Act intends to extend these programs so that autistic people may be supported far into adulthood. The purpose is to provide support and therapy to autistic people throughout their lives.
The Autism CARES Act’s Direct Benefits to Families
More than $3.1 billion in government funds was allocated to autism as a result of autism-related legislation prior to and including the Autism CARES Act of 2014. The Autism CARES Act of 2019 provides $1.8 billion in increased funding over a five-year period.
This money is used to assist autistic people in a number of ways. The law is as follows:
- Increases the amount of money available for research. This will ultimately lead to better knowledge about the causes of autism and viable treatment alternatives.
- Reauthorizes initiatives targeted at enhancing persons with autism’s quality of life.
- Supports services and initiatives that assist persons with autism.
- Because autism is a lifelong illness, it expands extra services to include care for autistic adults.
- Expands autism services to a wider range of people.
The new legislation gives autistic people easier access to therapy and resources. It also paves the way for future autism-related laws, including treatment, research, financing, and services.
The Autism CARES Act of 2019 does a number of things, including providing funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health and Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to support autism research through biomedical research grants. This study informs therapy and intervention techniques aimed at improving the quality of life for people with autism.
The Interagency Autistic Coordinating Community (IACC), a government advisory council that advises on autism matters, has also undergone changes. Representatives from the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) community were added to the legislation to lobby for services and report on ASD demographics to the federal government.
The purpose of this extra reporting is to provide more accurate data. More in-depth knowledge about autism and the ASD community may lead to improved services and treatment options, improving the overall quality of life for the community.
The IACC’s mission is to create practical solutions to assist persons who are affected by autism. The committee delivers information on the following seven important research areas:
- Screening, diagnosis, and early intervention are all things that can be done.
- Potential prenatal exposure is one of the risk factors and biological indicators.
- The autism spectrum disorder community’s biology and demography.
- Concerns about the autistic community moving into adolescence, maturity, and beyond, as well as a greater grasp of the future.
- Treatments and treatments that benefit autistic people and their families.
- Services, such as where they are available and how to get them.
- Autism support, services, therapy, and the community as a whole are all subject to reporting, monitoring, and infrastructure.
Services have been expanded.
Like previous iterations of the bill, the Autism CARES Act of 2019 intends to improve treatment choices and services for autistic people. The objectives are to:
- Education on autism should be improved.
- Increase the number of early detection services, which will lead to earlier diagnosis.
- Encourage medical professionals to learn more about autism.
- Improve early intervention services for improved long-term results.
- Instead of being confined to just children, expand the scope of autism treatment and services to encompass people of all ages.
- Reduce gaps in health outcomes among different groups of people.
- Increase financing in places where personal health services are in insufficient supply.
Better treatment choices and additional resources are now accessible to autistic people as a result of this law.
Evidence-based therapies and community-based services are the emphasis of the law. Among the services offered are:
- Behavioral assistance.
- Within the autistic community, there are recreational and social activities.
- Support and assistance in the area of nutrition.
- Safety precautions are taken.
- Other services that help people with autism improve their overall quality of life.
Autism Legislation Is Required
According to studies, children with autism are approximately four times as likely than neurotypical children to have unmet health care requirements. These youngsters suffer because they lack the means to address their requirements.
Long-term results are worse for them than for youngsters who have access to autism-specific services and therapy. As a result, these youngsters grow into adults with less abilities to function in a society that does not cater to autistic people. They may have difficulty making the transition to maturity, resulting in less meaningful social connections, unaddressed health care needs, and financial troubles.
Helping these people requires legislation like the Autism CARES Act of 2019. Many of these children and adults may now receive programs that are genuinely life-changing for them and their families thanks to continued government support.
The legislation’s research funding has the potential to pave the way for new discoveries, treatments, and resources in the field of autism in the United States. It’s been shown time and time again that policies like these may help people with autism and other developmental challenges achieve the greatest potential results in life.
The “autism cares today” is a layman’s guide to the autism CARES Act of 2019. It includes information on what the act does, how it will help families, and how you can get involved with your state.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.