Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (S. 819) Introduced

April 2, 2009

Autism Treatment Acceleration Act [pdf, 112kb]
One-page summary of the Autism Treatment Acceleration Act prepared by AUCD [pdf, 10kb]
AUCD's thank you letter to Senator Durbin (D-IL) [pdf, 176kb]
On April 2, World Autism Day, Sens. Durbin (D-IL), Casey (D-PA), and Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (S. 819). This bill was originally drafted with President Obama when he was in the Senate near the end of the 111th Congress. The new bill introduced yesterday, incorporates some of the provisions of the Expanding the Promise to Individuals with Autism Act introduced by Sen. Clinton in the last Congress, including a revised version of the interdisciplinary training provision. AUCD worked with CCD and other advocacy groups to provide input before introduction.

The bill establishes multiyear national training initiative supplemental grants to eligible entities, "including University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities," to develop and expand interdisciplinary training and continuing education on autism spectrum disorders

The bill creates demonstration projects to increase access to quality health care services and coordination of care as well as to develop and provide an array of services to adults with autism spectrum disorders; establishes a national network to link research and service initiatives at the federal, regional, state and local levels; and, establishes an Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee to coordinate Federal activities relating to research, services, and programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

A requirement that health insurers cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including Applied Behavior Analysis, assistive communication devices and other effective treatments is also added.

The bill was referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. No similar bill has been introduced in the House.

Please contact Kim Musheno at AUCD with your comments and suggestions for further advocacy on this bill.