Jul 12, 2012
Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) gave key remarks Tuesday at the full committee meeting of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), discussing the critical impact that the IAAC has upon autism research both nationally and internationally.
“Great strides have been made in unraveling the mystery of autism,”
said Smith, Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Autism Research and Education (C.A.R.E.). “But clearly, we have so much more to do.” Click here to read Smith’s remarks
Smith authored the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011(CARA) (Public Law 112-32
) that extended and reauthorized the IACC. Smith’s law also authorizes $693 million over the next three years for autism research, early intervention and education. Smith also authored the provision in Title I of the Children’s Health Act (PL 106-310
) which authorized grants and contracts for the collection, analysis, and reporting of data on autism and pervasive developmental disabilities, and established regional centers of excellence in autism surveillance and epidemiology.
The IACC, a federal advisory committee, strategically develops plans in consultation with the National Institute for Health (NIH) for implementation by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Under Dr. Thomas Insel, IACC has diligently sought evidence-based answers to an array of vexing questions concerning causation, risk factors—including genetic and non-genetic factors, parental age, and premature birth,”
remarked Smith, “and the most efficacious interventions designed to mitigate the disability.”
The range and severity of symptoms of autism vary from case to case, but symptoms often include difficulties in communicating and interacting with other individuals and exhibiting repetitive behaviors and intense interests in specific subjects. Data released in March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows one in every 88 American children and one in every 49 New Jersey children has a form of autism. The study also found a continuing higher prevalence of ASDs in boys than girls (1-in-252 girls and 1-in-54 boys). However, in New Jersey, there is a staggering one in 29 boys with the disability. Click here to read the study.