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Autism CARES (2014)



Synopsis of Act:
Autism CARES (The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act)

  • Dedicate another five years of federal funding for autism activities at an annual levels of $260 million
  • Designate an official in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the IACC’s strategic plan
  • Assign the Democratic and Republican leaders in both the Senate and the HOR one appointment each to the IACC
  • Direct the General Accounting Office (GAO) to submit a report, with stakeholder input, on the demographics and transition needs of adults on the spectrum


Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2011



  • Ensures that the critical programs established under the Combating Autism Act of 2006 continue through 2014
  • Authorizes funding for $693 million over the three-year life of the bill

***The extension of CARA by President Obama is currently set to expire on September 30, 2014.

Synopsis of Act:
*Combating Autism Re-authorization Act (CARA) of 2011

  • New prevalence studies published by the CDC reports that ASD now affects roughly 1% of children in the U.S. (1 in 110) and an even higher percentage of boys
  • American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for autism at their 18- and 24-month checkups. Today, scientists are exploring ways to identify ASD in the first year of life
  • We now know that autism is related to genetic alterations, either on their own or together with environmental factors, disrupt normal connectivity in the brain
  • Genetic findings prompt large pharmaceutical companies to seriously invest in autism drug recovery research. Pfizer announces a major investment in autism drug discovery which includes a dedicated autism neuroscience unit
  • Evidence-based guidelines for physicians are developed to screen, assess, and treat GI conditions in children with ASD.
  • A study reports that children with ASD have decreased levels of a molecule that is involved in immune regulation, and that too little or too much immune activity during the prenatal period can impair development of neurons. ASD is associated with a maternal history of autoimmune disease, specifically, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease.
  • We are now aware there are many causes to different forms of ASD. Some types of ASD are largely genetically determined, but we know that some forms of ASD involve environmental risk factors
  • CDC study shows close to 60% of children with ASD have IQs above 70 by age 8. Another study document 167 cases of individuals with ASD who developed speech between the ages of 5 and 12


Synopsis of Bill:
*S 2472

  • Bill would pilot five-year grant program for public schools to partner with university or non-profit programs in creating training programs for teachers who work with large numbers of high-functioning students with autism.
  • Bill is also known as Autism Understanding and Training in School Methodologies for Educators Act of 2012 (AUTISM)


History of CARA 2011:
*The Combating Autism Re-authorization Act (CARA) of 2011 is introduced in the Senate as S 1094 and introduced in the House as (HR-2005) on May 26, 2011.

*S 1094 is referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. HR 2005 is referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

*On September 7, 2011, S 1094 is voted unanimously out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

*CARA is voted out of the U.S. House of Representatives on September 20, 2011.

*CARA is sent to President Obama after being voted unanimously out of the Senate on September 27, 2011.

*CARA is signed into law by President Obama on September 30, 2011.

*Additionally, on December 23, 2011 President Obama signs the FY12 budget bill appropriating the first $230 million allocation under CARA.



History of S 2472:
*S 2472 is introduced to the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2012 by Senators Roberts Casey Jr. and Johnny Isakson.
*To date, there has been further legislative action has been taken to enact S 2472 in the U.S. Senate.


Combating Autism Re-authorization Act (CARA) News: