Ninety members of the US Congress from both parties have appealed to the federal government officials to increase the expenditure on autism by $150 million. They hope to see the revised budgetary allocations to be included in the financial planning for the next fiscal year that starts in October.
In a letter addressed to the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, they pointed out that a lot of progress has been made in terms of awareness about autism and enhancing services provided to those with the condition. They added that the pandemic had a negative impact on families of autism-affected, making it necessary to help them.
“Specifically, we recommend this $150 million increase at agencies engaged in autism research and services including at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Department of Labor. This funding could help to fill current gaps in research and services,” says the letter.
The appeal by US Congress was made in support of the recommendations made by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) which was formed to synchronise the research and other activities undertaken by various federal agencies. It consists of representatives from these agencies, parents, autistic adults, advocacy groups, researchers and several other stakeholders.