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Federal Government Action — Combating Autism Act

On September 20, 2011, the US House of Representatives passed the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (HR 205). This act known as CARA extends the life of the combating Autism Act which was set to expire on September 30. On that very day, the President signed CARA into law.

CARA authorizes $693 million in funding for three additional years to support the NIH and CDC research, the LEND program which provides the autism training to healthcare professionals, and the Interagency Autism Coordination Committee.

It is landmark legislation, but even among many autism advocates, including us, there are misgivings about the Act itself, in that (1) it fails to address the needs of those of adult-age with autism and (2) it allocates too little towards services for those among us of all ages with autism — 693 million dollars, and virtually nothing for applied research, increased out-of-home placement options, in-home support, expanded autism adult waiver, vocational training, transportation training, independent vaccination/autism study, nutrition, psychotropic drugging, adjudicated youth — to name just a few.