Two senators introduced a bill last week that would authorize $860 million over five years to combat autism through research, screening, intervention, and education.
The legislation by Sens. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health’s Centers of Excellence Program in autism, which was created in 2000. It would also double the number of centers currently operating, authorize funding for epidemiological surveillance programs to be run by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and establish environmental-health research programs.
“Autism is a profound condition that can have a devastating effect on children and their families,” Sen. Dodd said in an April 19 press conference. “We as a nation must devote significantly increased resources to finding answers to the many questions surrounding autism.”