A government funding bill approved by Congress includes $6 million for the Department of Defense Autism Research Program.
The new funding is part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs which has awarded 85 grants valued at $41.4 million for autism research since the program was created in 2007 through efforts spearheaded by Autism Speaks. The new funding was included in a
Continuing Resolution approved by Congress to fund government operations through the end of the current federal budget in September. The bill awaits President Obama's signature.
Congress approved the additional funding as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the results of a national survey which indicated the actual rate of prevalence in the United States could be in 1 in 50 children. The new data do not replace the CDC's official 1 in 88 prevalence rate, but indicates prevalence is on the rise.
The Department of Defense funding is in addition to the research funding authorized under the 2011 Combating Autism Reauthorization Act for the National Institutes of Health. Any impact of sequestration on the appropriation is not yet clear.