Critter Corner: Federal Initiatives for Autism

Dear Commander Bun Bun,

My son has Autism Spectrum Disorder. I know there are lots of private initiatives out there to raise money and awareness. What I don’t know is whether there are any federal initiatives that may be in progress. Are you aware of any?


Ina Sheatives

Dear Ina,

On the Autism Speaks Website, they have details on some of the current federal initiatives for autism. Below are highlights about them:

Medical Research and Innovation: H.R. 6 (The Century Cures Act)

H.R. 6 received broad bipartisan approval in the U.S. House

● It would establish an $8.75 billion fund for the NIH to support biomedical research to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments for all, including those with autism.

● It would direct the NIH Director to require those whose research is fully funded by NIH to share their data and would help organize collaborative research through a clinical trial data system.

● It would also require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to incorporate patient experience into regulatory decision-making.

● It also requires the FDA to advance the development of personalized medicine, which holds promise for individuals diagnosed with autism.

The U.S. Senate is considering companion legislation which has already received approval from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP).

Safety and Wandering Prevention S.2614/H.R. 4919 (Kevin and Avonte’s Law)

The legislation has already been passed in the U.S. Senate and is now being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.

● The legislation would reauthorize the expired Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program and include new provisions to support people with autism.

● It would help families locate missing loved ones who have autism or other conditions that may cause them to wander.

● It would allow Justice Department grants to be used by law enforcement agencies and nonprofits for education and training programs to prevent wandering.

Support Family Caregivers S. 1719 and H.R. 3099, also known as the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act

The RAISE Act has already been approved by the U.S. Senate and is currently being considered by the House of Representatives.

● It would direct the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and implement a National Family Caregiving Strategy to support family caregivers, including the many who support individuals with autism.

For more federal initiatives for autism, visit the Autism Speaks website.

Hop this helps!

Commander Bun Bun

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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