The original Combating Autism Act was enacted in 2006, allowing for millions of dollars in funding for the cause of autism treatment, development and research. Over the last five years, the CAA succeeded in doing just that. One example of the funding was the support of 17 advanced Autism Treatment Networks across the United States through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
However, on September 30th, the current autism act will have reached the end if its terms. This would mean a drastic cut in funding and support to various autism treatment centers and research facilities across the country.
Aware of this impending deadline, the Senate Committee approved an extension of the CAA, known as the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, or CARA. But unless this bill can pass the Senate by the deadline, CARA will not save the day. Both parties show favor toward the bill, which indicates it should pass quickly, and President Obama has promised to act on it immediately once it is through the Senate.
The urgency of government officials and organizations alike in seeing this bill pass is proof of the concern for the need of autism research and treatment. Looking at the statistics alone, autism is a staggering force to be reckoned with. The CDC estimates that roughly 1 out of every 110 children in the U.S. have some form of autism, which is more likely to occur in boys than girls.
Autism is a developmental disorder that usually appears in early childhood. The actual cause of autism is still not well known, although it is believed to be caused by disrupted synapses that hinder normal brain activity, and may be linked to genetic factors and other causes of birth defects. Autistic children are known for their lack of communication, difficulty with social interaction, repetitive motions or behavior, and often tend toward prodigy in one area of their development, while the rest remains stunted. Individual symptoms, behaviors, and ability to progress developmentally vary widely.
Autistic children often do not progress in their ability to live a normal life as they grow into adulthood, leaving most autistic adults unable to support or care for themselves and therefore dependent on friends and family, if they have them, or other means of support.
Because of this, support communities for autistic people are helpful, as well as government programs for children, such as SSI. The medical and therapy costs of autistic individuals are extremely high, so without assistance it is nearly impossible for to receive the care they need.
Autism is recognized as a disabling condition by the Social Security Administration. When you or someone you love applies for SSDI or SSI, your claim will be evaluated based on your medical diagnosis, symptoms, and how they affect your ability to function normally and obtain employment.
While SSDI or SSI benefits can help provide the living and medical expense assistance you need, the passage of the CARA bill may make the difference in the continuing research, development, and treatment which may provide breakthroughs in the future regarding the puzzling and growing phenomenon of autism.