ASF Strongly Supports Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011

27 May

The Combating Autism Act (CAA) “sunsets” this September. That means that the mandate to focus the U.S. government’s research efforts will end. This doesn’t mean that autism research will stop being funded, but it means that the IACC will end, and a commitment to specific funding levels will sunset.

Here is a statement by the Autism Science Foundation on the re-authorization of the CAA:

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) strongly supports the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 (CARA) introduced today by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the United States Senate and by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) in the United States House of Representatives.

The new bill reauthorizes the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (CAA), which has played a critical role in advancing autism research and treatment. The original CAA, set to sunset on September 30, 2011, expanded federal investment for autism research through NIH, increased services, diagnosis and treatment through HRSA, and enhanced surveillance and awareness efforts by the CDC. The CAA authorized nearly $1 billion in federal research spending over five years—increasing autism research spending by almost 50 percent. This research has led to improved understanding of the causes of autism and has helped us begin to develop new interventions. Additionally, the research funded through CAA has increased the ability of professionals to more properly screen, diagnose, and treat individuals with autism. The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 ensures that the programs established under the original law continue for an additional three years, including CDC surveillance programs, HRSA intervention and training programs, and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC).

The Autism Science Foundation strongly supports this new legislation and urges all members of Congress to act swiftly to pass it into law. We thank Senator Menendez, Senator Enzi, Congressman Doyle and Congressman Smith for their continued focus on the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We look forward to continuing to work with them and the broader autism community to ensure passage of this important legislation. At an IACC meeting earlier this year, the Obama administration pledged to support CARA and to sign the bill into law upon passage.

The Autism Science Foundation is 501(c)3 public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

8 Responses to “ASF Strongly Supports Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011”

  1. Kassiane May 27, 2011 at 09:07 #

    The CAA has no provisions for adult services-something that probably has roots in ‘awareness’ and the invisibility of autistic adults.

    Years long waitlists are not acceptable, and yet that’s what they’re offering. I’m going to be talking to some lawmakers regarding exactly that.

    • Sullivan May 27, 2011 at 17:50 #


      I will post the ASAN release on the CAA soon.

  2. Tom May 27, 2011 at 16:49 #

    It will be interesting to see whether the CCA receives re-authorization with current funding levels given the mood in Congress. House republicans are looking to cut anything they can. Hopefully, cutting autism funding will prove unpopular.

  3. Stuart Duncan May 27, 2011 at 19:43 #

    My only suggestion into the CAA for it’s renewal is to come up with a better name for it.

  4. RAJ May 29, 2011 at 13:48 #

    The US is broke. We have unsustainable budget deficits as far as the eye can see. Everything has to be cut, including NIH funding of autism research.

    My preference would have the NIH defund all translational medical research. Translational medicine involves an alliance between autism researchers and the pharamaceutical industry. The pharamceutical industry does support those investigators conducting translational research. The NIH also funds these research activities. These researchers specialize in creating ‘autistic’ mice through genetic engineering and applying various pharmaceutical industry products to these genetically engineered mice, conducting clinical trials, by the same researchers.

    The pharmaceutical industry sees hundreds of billions of dollars of profit when translational medicine finds the ‘cures’ for autism. If the pharamceutical sees such a huge profit coming out of tis research they should fund this research at far greater levels than they do.

    The Autism Science Foundation also funds support to translational medicine in autism as does Autism Speaks.

  5. Esattezza June 4, 2011 at 20:48 #

    @RAJ: 1) translational medicine is more than just drug studies
    2) Not all drug studies involve “big pharma” – especially pilot studies
    3) “big pharma” will likely fund clinical trials, once we get to that point. Mouse work at universities is much better equipped to identify drug targets in the first place, which still needs to be done in the case of most ASDs.

  6. stanley seigler June 4, 2011 at 23:35 #

    [raj say] The US is broke. We have unsustainable budget deficits as far as the eye can see. Everything has to be cut, including NIH funding of autism research.


    it’s a myth…US not broke and there are no unsustainable deficits…a 1% tax/fees increase would solve the deficit issue…

    also if the were no tax cuts for rich folks nor loopholes for big oil and other corporations that pay no taxes…voila: no deficit.

    BTW another myth: tax increases slow the economy…certainly didn’t slow the economy under the clinton tax increases.

    oh/and pharmaceutical companies pay less in taxes than any other U.S. industry despite charging higher prices for drugs in this country than overseas.

    “Everything has to be cut”…cuts are short term myopic dumb fixes.

    stanley seigler


  1. Autism Blog – ASF Strongly Supports Combating Autism … | My Autism Site | All About Autism - May 27, 2011

    […] Read more: Autism Blog – ASF Strongly Supports Combating Autism … […]

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