Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

N.J.-Sponsored Bill Gives Autism Programs Boost

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

N.J.-Sponsored Bill Gives Autism Programs Boost

Article excerpt

Autism research programs would continue for another five years and a special focus would be put on youths transitioning to adulthood under a bill headed to President Obama's desk that was sponsored by two members of Congress from New Jersey, the state with the highest autism rate in the country.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 45 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, compared with a national rate of 1 in 68.

The bill was written by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and sponsored in the House by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the original sponsor of the Combating Autism Act first passed in 2000.

Renamed the Autism CARES act for Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support, the new bill authorizes nearly $1.3 billion over five years, though the exact amount spent will depend on annual budgets.

The bill calls for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Government Accountability Office to study the challenges faced and services available as people with ASD go from school- based services to those for adults. …

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