NEW YORK, NY (November 25, 2007) – Leadership of Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research, issued the following statement in response to a speech delivered by Senator Hillary Clinton at a Sioux City, Iowa, Boys Club yesterday:
Recognizing the autism epidemic as a national public health priority deserving of Presidential attention, Senator Hillary Clinton endorsed and detailed a number of policy positions long supported by Autism Speaks and its predecessor organizations and long-needed by the many American families facing the challenge of autism.
Specifically, Autism Speaks supports full funding of the programs authorized by the Combating Autism Act of 2006, enactment of the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act (currently pending in both houses of Congress) including the addition proposed today by Senator Clinton for a teacher training component, and the principle articulated again today by Senator Clinton that evidence-based behavioral and biomedical interventions for autism should be available to all Americans who need them.
Autism Speaks is committed to ensuring that medically necessary services for individuals with autism are covered by private health insurance.
As a not-for-profit charitable organization, Autism Speaks cannot and does not endorse any candidate for federal office. Rather, it is our mission to encourage an appropriate response at all levels and within all branches of the American system of government to the national public health urgency of the autism epidemic.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation's three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.