A major piece of autism legislation authored by Rep. Chris Smith was signed into law Monday.
The bill authorizes $1.8 billion for a series of autism endeavors, reauthorizes and expands the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, gives the Health and Human Services secretary the ability to prioritize grants to underserved areas and requires a report on the well-being of people with ASD be published within two years of the bill’s enactment.
“Aging out of services is a hurdle every parent or caretaker of a child with autism inevitably faces,” Smith said. “Children grow up and become adults, and then lose their education and support services. But autism is a lifetime neurological disorder, and young adults with autism continue to need their services. The Autism CARES Act recognizes the problem of aging out and ensures that the federal government continues to help hundreds of thousands of young adults with autism and their parents by funding research and support programs.”