Tuesday, December 19, 2006

President Bush Signs Combating Autism Act into Law

In another historic day for persons with autism disorder US President George W Bush signed into law the Combating Autism Act. The bill dramatically increases US federal funding for autism including research which could well benefit all persons with autism.


"For the millions of Americans whose lives are affected by autism, today is a day of hope. The Combating Autism Act of 2006 will increase public awareness about this disorder and provide enhanced federal support for autism research and treatment. By creating a national education program for doctors and the public about autism, this legislation will help more people recognize the symptoms of autism. This will lead to early identification and intervention, which is critical for children with autism. I am proud to sign this bill into law and confident that it will serve as an important foundation for our Nation s efforts to find a cure for autism."

- President George W. Bush, 12/19/06

Today, President Bush Signed The Combating Autism Act Of 2006. This Act authorizes expanded activities related to autism research, prevention, and treatment through FY 2011. There are more than 1.5 million cases of autism in the United States.

  • Since The President Took Office, National Institutes Of Health (NIH) Funding For Autism-Related Research Has Increased By Over 80 Percent From $56 Million In FY 2001 To An Estimated $101 Million In The FY 2007 Budget, Including Support For Autism Centers of Excellence. In addition, the Budget includes approximately $15 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for autism surveillance and research, including five regional Centers of Excellence for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology. In October, CDC initiated a $5.9 million study to help identify factors that may put children at risk for autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

The Combating Autism Act Enhances Research, Surveillance, And Education Regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Act Authorizes Research Under NIH To Address The Entire Scope Of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism, sometimes called "classical autism," is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS).

The Act Authorizes Regional Centers Of Excellence For Autism Spectrum Disorder Research And Epidemiology. These Centers collect and analyze information on the number, incidence, correlates, and causes of ASD and other developmental disabilities. The Act also authorizes grants to States for collection, analysis, and dissemination of data related to autism.

The Act Authorizes Activities To Increase Public Awareness Of Autism, Improve The Ability Of Health Care Providers To Use Evidence-Based Interventions, And Increase Early Screening For Autism. The Act authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to:

  • Provide information and education on ASD and other developmental disabilities to increase public awareness of developmental milestones;
  • Promote research into the development and validation of reliable screening tools for ASD and other developmental disabilities and disseminate information regarding those screening tools;
  • Promote early screening of individuals at higher risk for ASD and other developmental disabilities as early as practicable;
  • Increase the number of individuals who are able to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of ASD and other developmental disabilities;
  • Increase the number of individuals able to provide evidence-based interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD or other developmental disabilities; and
  • Promote the use of evidence-based interventions for individuals at higher risk for ASD and other developmental disabilities as early as practicable.

The Act Calls On The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) To Enhance Information Sharing. The IACC provides a forum to facilitate the efficient and effective exchange of information about autism activities, programs, policies, and research among the Federal government, several non-profit groups, and the public. The Combating Autism Act requires the IACC to provide information and recommendations on ASD-related programs, and to continue its work to develop and update annually a strategic plan for ASD research.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Autism: The Mounting Toll of Denying the Existence of Stealth-Adapted Viruses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will receive additional funding for autism research through the Combating Autism Act signed into law today by President Bush. Let’s hope it will use a modicum of this funding to confirm and extend findings that indicate active virus infection in the majority of autistic children. The viruses found in these children do not activate an effective anti-virus immune response and have, accordingly, been grouped under the term stealth-adapted. In spite of repeated requests, no formal effort has been made within CDC to perform stealth-adapted virus testing on children with autism. Contributing to this indifference is a lack of real expertise in atypical viral infections and a political concern that some stealth-adapted viruses arose from the simian cytomegalovirus of African green monkeys (SCMV). As confirmed by studies within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), earlier batches of live polio vaccines were not uncommonly contaminated by SCMV.

Autism is a descriptive term for symptoms attributed to brain damage. By many measures, an increasing number of children are showing this affliction. Indeed, the phase “autism epidemic” is widely being used in the media. Yet, why hasn’t serious consideration been given to a potential underlying infectious cause? Again, this is partly because most of the professional dealing with this disorder are not microbiologists and sadly, also because a lot of money is being made from parents of an ever expanding pool of patients.

An infectious cause for autism is not only suggested by its increasing prevalence but also by chronic fatiguing illnesses that are commonly present in other family members. Parents of autistic children will sometimes deny any symptoms hoping to keep the focus on their son or daughter. Closer questioning, however, will often reveal less than stellar health with fatigue, impaired sleep, poor memory and other symptoms consistent with ongoing brain damage. Indeed, it is reasonable to have predicted that such parents were at an increased risk for having a child slip into autistic behavior as he or she faced the emotional challenge of socialization. It can also be argued that a stealth-adapted virus infected infant may be especially susceptible to additional damage caused by vaccinations that can potential over activate the immune response.

A useful course of action is for a small grouping of parents of autistic children to insist that the CDC or corresponding State Health Department, obtain a blood sample from their child and culture the blood in a manner suitable to demonstrate the presence of stealth-adapted viruses. Undoubtedly, some if not most cases will yield a positive culture. Such findings will help offset the politically motivated denial of the existence of stealth-adapted viruses and once more draw attention to the issue of SCMV contaminated polio vaccines. For additional information please refer to www.s3support.com or e-mail to s3support@mail.com
W. John Martin, M.D., Ph.D.
Institute of Progressive Medicine