As the fiscal year 2010 budget works its way through Congress, it is vital that appropriations are included for autism spectrum disorders.
Please take a minute this afternoon to ask your member of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign on to the Coalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE) appropriations requests for $211 million for autism in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education budget and $15 million for autism in the Department of Defense budget.
We are asking that the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee provide full funding for the 3rd year of the Combating Autism Act (CAA) in 2010. Implementation of the CAA is critical, because it directs the Department of Health and Human Services to begin coordinating all of the activities among its agencies that work on autism, including National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
For Fiscal Year 2010, the CAA authorizes a total of $211 million for a variety of critical autism activities, including:
- $20.5 million for the CDC to conduct its Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research program;
- $47 million in the HRSA account for HHS to carry out autism education, early detection, and intervention programs; and
- $143.5 million for the HHS Secretary and the NIH to operate the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, implement the expansion, intensification and coordination of research on ASD, and fund and review autism centers of excellence.
We are also asking that the Department of Defense Appropriations Subcommittee provide $15 million for autism research in the Research and Development of Defense Health Programs account. Many military families are touched by autism – based on current prevalence rates, as many as 12,000 children in military families (active duty, reserve and guard) may have autism. These families are substantially affected by the financial and emotional costs of raising a child with autism. In fact, given the frequent duty station changes and social turmoil of military service, military children with an autism spectrum disorder often face additional challenges with which their civilian counterparts do not have to contend. Care for dependents with autism is also a significant direct cost to the Department of Defense.
To help improve the lives of all affected by autism, simply take a moment and click here to send an email to Congress today.
Thank you for your suppport of this important issue.
President & CEO
Autism Society of America