Combating Autism

Why the Program is Needed

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 American children are now on the autism spectrum - a tenfold increase in prevalence in 40 years.  The lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 to $5 million, and the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism.  This figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation and employment, in addition to related therapeutic services and caregiver costs.

What it Does

Supports the following efforts across federal agencies:

  1. Developmental disabilities surveillance and research.  The CDC administers several programs, including multi-state studies of Autism risk factors.
  2. Autism education, early detection, and intervention. The Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) provides:
    1. training for professionals;
    2. state demonstrations and policy; and
    3. research programs to improve the health of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  3. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee & related programs. The National Institutes of Health (NIH):
    1. operates an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee,
    2. conducts reviews of the Autism centers for excellence, and
    3. expands coordinated Autism research.

Authorizing Legislation

The Combating Autism Act of 2006 as amended (42 U.S.C. Part R)

Funding

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - $22 million for the Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research Program
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - $48 million for Autism Education, Early Detection, and Intervention
National Institutes of Health (NIH) - $161 million for research grants and for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

For More Information

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html
http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/autism/ 
http://iacc.hhs.gov/