Monday night at 8pm, be sure to tune in for our newest episode of Hope Saves the Day on Autism Radio Tonight's Show is with Host Paul Cimins talk about a bill to fund autism research and help young autistic people as they move into adulthood has cleared both chambers of Congress with backing from New Jersey’s U.S. Rep. Chris Smith and Sen. Robert Menendez.
The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent late Thursday after clearing the House by a voice vote in late June. In parts of New Jersey, 1 in 45 children have been identified with autism, most among areas studied in 11 states, according to a March report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall rate among 8-year-olds living in the communities studied was 1 in 68.
“By passing this legislation, Congress assures individuals with autism and their families that they will not be left behind, and that we are working to assist and empower them,” Smith, a Republican, said in a news release.
Smith sponsored the bill, which incorporated language Menendez proposed in the Senate, according to Menendez’s office.
The bill “ensures these vital autism programs are reauthorized and continue providing research, services and supports individuals with autism and their families have come to rely on,” Menendez, a Democrat, said in a news release.
The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.
It would authorize $1.3 billion of federal funding over five years for autism research. It also directs federal agencies to develop plans for autistic children who “age out” school-based support programs and move toward adulthood.
Smith said 50,000 young people with autism enter adulthood every year and join “communities that are unprepared to meet their support needs.
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