President Bush signed into law the Combating Autism Act (CAA) on December 19, 2006. This landmark legislation authorized $700 million in research funding over five years and set the goal of finding the cause (including possible environmental causes) and treatments for autism. The Act sunsets on September 30, 2011.
A coalition of leading community organizations is coordinating an effort to seek reauthorization and has prepared a list of Guiding Principles. A broad consensus on these principles is the essential first step before legislation can be crafted to implement these ten principles as policy (details on each principle follow below):
1) Recognize that our country faces a national public health emergency.
2) Direct increased resources for a lifespan of autism services through established services infrastructure at the state level.
3) Dedicate federal research to strategic research that can halt the autism epidemic in its tracks.
4) Conduct autism surveillance with the scope, timeliness and rigor appropriate to the need.
5) Focus strategic new research in areas that can yield meaningful near term results.
6) Keep individuals with autism safe from accidental death and injury.
7) Prevent harmful restraint and seclusion of autistic individuals.
8) Address critical gaps in vaccine safety research and policy governance.
9) End health insurance discrimination against individuals with autism.
10) Develop autism policy with an open, transparent approach.
The membership includes advocates of the vaccine theory:
- Age of Autism
- Autism Action Network
- Autism File Global
- Autism One
- The Autism Research Institute
- The Autism Society of Connecticut
- The Autism Society of Greater Phoenix
- The Autism Society of Illinois
- Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy
- Generation Rescue
- Greater Brunswick Special Families
- National Autism Association
- Talk About Curing Autism
- The Pilot House