Wall Twp, Monmouth Co.,
Oct 1, 2012
Nearly one year to the day of the enactment of his Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA),
Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) visited the Advanced Learning Center’s Autism Awareness All Day Fall Day, speaking with parents, caregivers and supporters of autistic children and their families.
Smith, the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Coalition on Autism Research and Education (C.A.R.E.), attended the Center’s Sept. 29 event at the South Wall Fire Company on Atlantic Avenue in Wall Twp. The Center is headquartered in Brielle, N.J.
“We must work to determine what causes autism and find better ways to improve early diagnosis, so that interventional care can begin as early as possible in an autistic child’s life
,” said Smith. “We also need research, new treatments and a path to a cure to give hope and encouragement to the children and families who face the challenges of autism.”
A longtime advocate for children with autism spectrum disorders and their families, Smith successfully worked to pass his bill CARA
(now Public Law 112-32
) through both Houses of Congress and later enacted on Sept. 30, 2011 to provide years of autism education, early detection, and intervention programs, as well as research grants at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In total, CARA authorizes $693 million over the next three years to fight autism.
A major study released in 2012 stemmed from another Smith law that was enacted in 2000—the Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research and Epidemiology Act (Title I, P.L. 106-310)
—which created the first comprehensive federal program to combat autism. The 2012 autism study, conducted by the Centers of Excellence in Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disabilities Epidemiology created by the 2000 law, revealed that 1 in every 88 American children and 1 in every 49 New Jersey children has a form of autism, affecting five times more boys than girls. The CDC study, entitled Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, provides autism prevalence estimates from 14 states, including New Jersey. Additionally, in May 2011, Smith chaired a hearing on U.S. and global autism