Funding for Autism Research on the Horizon

The Exceptional Parent, June 1999 | Go to article overview

Funding for Autism Research on the Horizon


Autism is one of society's most common developmental disabilities, yet a lack of research funding has greatly impeded progress toward a cure and has often left researchers with more questions than answers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism and its associated behaviors occur in an estimated 1 in 500 individuals. Since it was first identified by Leo Kanner more than 50 years ago, great strides have been made in our understanding of the disorder.

Researchers now know that autism is:

* a neurological disorder that affects the normal development of the brain involved with social and communication skills,

* that boys are affected four times more often than girls, and

* that autism is a spectrum disorder with symptoms that range from mild to severe.

People who have autism may have difficulty in communication, social interactions, and participating in leisure activities. Some may exhibit bizarre behavior such as repeated body movements (hand-flapping or rocking), attachments to objects, and resistance to change. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. Individuals may also be over- or underreactive to any or all of the five senses.

Despite this knowledge base, fundamental issues about autism--such as its causes, effective treatments or cure, prevention, and even accurate prevalence rates in the United States--am still unknown.

This could soon change, however, thanks to three new bills currently before the United States Congress. The bills--two in the House and one in the Senate--call for $7.5 million annually to assess the incidence and prevalence of autism nationwide, and $39 million annually to establish five autism research "Centers of Excellence" that would combine clinical and basic research in autism, attract the country's top scientists, and create a network for the dissemination and replication of research findings to health professionals and the public. The proposed funding, which would be funneled through the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would more than double the funds currently available.

About the legislation

The proposed bills recognize that autism is considered by many scientists to be one of the most heritable of all the developmental disorders and the most likely to yield to the latest scientific advancements in genetics and neurology. Furthermore, additional research on autism may also help researchers understand other disorders, ranging from learning problems to hyperactivity, that affect millions of Americans.

The autism advocacy community has played a key role in the development of these three bills and is actively calling on the public to contact their US Senators and Representatives to urge their support (see "What You Can Do To Help"). Three national parent organizations, the Autism Society of America (ASA) and its Foundation (ASAF), Cure Autism Now (CAN), and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), have joined forces to raise public awareness about the bills, since at least 100 cosponsors of the two House bills (H.R. 997 and H.R. 274) and 35 cosponsors of the Senate bill (S. 512) are needed to buoy their passage.

While enactment of this legislation would be a great stride forward in autism research, passage of these bills does not guarantee immediate funding, but rather gives the NIH and the CDC the ability to request additional funding for autism research.

Below are summaries of the new bills currently before Congress, and some tips on what autism advocates can do to increase the chances that these bills are passed. There is also additional information regarding autism.

House bills

H.R. 997: "Advancement in Pediatric Autism Research Act" H.R. 997 calls for a significant increase in the amount of funding at the NIH for autism biomedical research and the coordination of research. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Funding for Autism Research on the Horizon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.