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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Autism, Alzheimer's, and Clinton

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns.  As I explain in the book, Hillary Clinton has a long history with the issue, and has issued an autism policy statement for the 2016 campaign.

At The Huffington Post, Craig Snyder writes of the Clinton autism plan:
This language signifies a necessary and significant policy direction change on autism research, away from the genetic and psychiatric approaches that have consumed nearly all federal dollars on autism causation research so far.
It seems to us, however, that Secretary Clinton's previously-announced platform to address Alzheimer's would be equally appropriate for addressing autism, if not more so, given the chronic, virtually lifelong nature of autism, autism's higher annual cost ($268 billion vs $200 billion for Alzheimer's), and autism's increased mortality rate. The Clinton Alzheimer's Plan, found here: commits $2 billion dollars each year for research "preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025" and "invests the needed resources, organizes a broad national effort, and inspires leaders in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to develop effective interventions to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's and related dementias".
 In The Politics of Autism, I write:
Two demographic trends will influence autism politics in the coming decades. First, the identified autistic population will get bigger, particularly in the adult range. Service providers refer to this coming change as a “tsunami,” after a large ocean wave that is barely visible when it moves over deep water but packs great power when it hits land. Second, the general population will be getting older just as the autism tsunami arrives, complicating the policy response.