A new video from Autism Votes:
Shelley Hendrix, director of grassroots advocacy for Autism Speaks, explains why the subject is political:
We now know that in 2000, 1 in every 88 babies born in America that year went on to develop an autism spectrum disorder. And yet, our country spent barely $50 million on research for autism that year. Our community pushed the United States Congress and with heavy lifting, the federal government now appropriates close to $235 million per year to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense for research and services related to autism.
Prior to 2007, just one state required health insurance companies to provide access to the healthcare treatments and therapies that people with autism need. These are treatments and therapies prescribed by medical professionals, but almost all health policies in the United States specifically excluded the treatment of autism. With hard work and dedication of volunteers all over the nation, 32 states have now improved healthcare access for individuals with autism.
These changes came about with the passage of new laws. Autism IS political, whether you realize it, or not.
Why? Because individuals with autism obtain assistance from a variety of public agencies at the federal, state and local level. Because our children receive special education services which are governed by our local school boards and each state’s Department of Education. Because many of our children and adults receive services through Medicaid. Because legal reform is required to right the inequities our community has consistently faced.