Originally becoming law in 2006, the Autism CARES Act was initially the Combatting Autism Act. During 2011, 2014, and 2019, it was reauthorized. The Autism CARES Act provides the main source of funding for research, services, and training. Funding is divided among the Centers for Disease Control, the Health Sources and Services Administration for Autism, and the National Institutes of Health. That funding also supports autism treatment programs and services.
Understanding the Autism CARES Act
The “CARES” in the Autism CARES Act stands for Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support. It is beneficial for parents to understand as much information about these support services as possible. That way, they know how much funding is available for aba therapy programs and other services their child needs. For example, the Autism CARES ACT offers support for:
- IACC: The Interagency Coordinating Committee receives support for coordinating federal efforts.
- Medical providers: Under this act, medical providers receive the training they need for detecting and monitoring the symptoms of autism.
- Medical treatments: Funding is available for developing treatments to address medical conditions that autism patients might experience.
- Monitoring: This act also ensures there is monitoring regarding the prevalence of autism.
- Training: In addition to research grants for the field of autism, the Autism CARES Act also provides career development training.
How the Autism CARES Act is Beneficial to Families
The Autism CARES Act is beneficial to families because it paves the way toward a lifetime of services and support. Even though this act allocates funding, it is not at the level that it should be considering its prevalence. However, that does not mean the autism research that is occurring is not making a difference. A significant amount of research is going into helping create personalized treatments for autism patients.
Support for Families
The Autism CARES Act ensures that caregivers, parents, and other family members receive the support they need when caring for someone with autism. This support is also available directly to those who have autism, as well as other developmental disabilities. For example, under the act, there is an expansion of medical professionals available to screen and diagnose autism.
This expansion also includes treatments and support for those who have autism and are twenty-one and older throughout their lifetime. This legislation is essential because it is not uncommon for specialized treatments to stop after someone with autism turns twenty-one.
Finding Treatment Programs for Those Over Twenty-One
The Autism CARES Act makes it possible to find treatment options for continued care and support. No matter where you and your family are located in the country, it is possible to find these services. For example, if you want to find an ASD treatment center in Texas, New York, or another state, this legislation makes it possible. Treatment options include the following examples:
- Homebound day programs: If adults with autism stay at home, they must have access to recreational and socialization opportunities.
- Independence: Depending on their level of autism, patients can receive support and services when moving away from home. That means determining if they need support services in their new home.
- Job searching skills: Adults with autism must take steps toward financial independence and self-determination. Professionals help them achieve those goals and acquire the necessary skills for job searches
- Treatment programs: Adults with autism can participate in a wide variety of treatment programs offering community and recreational activities. That way they can challenge themselves regarding skill building, physical strength, and friendship building.
As you search for help for a family member or other loved one diagnosed with autism, that could lead to uncovering information regarding the Autism CARES Act. While having this information is essential, it could lead to more questions or concerns. Contact your local physician to find autism treatment, an ABA therapy program, or other support resources.