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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. December 6 , 2006

SPECIAL EDITION


S. 843 COMBATING AUTISM ACT PASSED BY UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; landmark legislation to help scientists understand the causes and characteristics of autism

S. 843 bill, "To amend the Public Health Service Act to combat autism through research, screening, intervention and education," was passed at in December by the United States House of Representatives. The bill authorizes nearly 1 billion dollars over the next five years to combat autism through research, screening, early detection and early intervention. It includes provisions relating to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and expands and intensifies biomedical research on autism, including an essential focus on possible environmental causes.

"As I witnessed the passage of this historic autism bill today live on CSPAN, I was applauding every person who was involved in creating this historic moment", said Larry Kaplan, PhD, Executive Director of US Autism and Asperger Association. "All I could think about was our kids and what impact this legislation holds for them now and in the future."

"We have an epidemic on our hands," explained Representative Christopher Smith.

"More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than aids, diabetes, and cancer combined," said Representative Chip Pickering.

"I am proud to be aligned with all the organizations who worked tirelessly over the past year to craft verbiage that has created the passage of the bill, " said Dr. Kaplan.

The bill will be sent back to the Senate for a vote before Congress adjourns on Friday. The Senate is expected to take up and approve the House-passed bill this week. The Combating Autism Act will then be ready for the President's signature, which is expected.

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Rep. Mary Bono
A companion bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswomen Mary Bono (R-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO).



"We have an epidemic on our hands," Rep. Christopher Smith


"More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than aids, diabetes, and cancer combined," Rep. Chip Pickering


Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois, mentioned the efforts by Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago which recently launched the First-Ever Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research


Rep. James Langevin supporting the bill

   

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