Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative By President Obama


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an illness suffered by more than one million Americans. It has an adverse impact the socialization, behavior, and communication of ASD patients. The illness has spread at an alarming rate all across the US. With Barack Obama now becoming the President of the US, many good developments are on the anvil for improving the condition of ASD patients on many fronts.

President Obama has already worked for the emancipation of ASD affected adults and children for a number of years now. He understands in depth the issues of complex disability facing them because of Autism. Now that he is President, he has initiated a multi-pronged strategy for improving the lot of ASD affected people.

An important part of such an initiative by Obama is the increase in the funding of Autism related public awareness, treatment, support services, screenings, and research by the US federal government. The requisite legislation will be moved in Congress in the near future. Creating opportunities for the people affected by ASD is mooted under the initiative. Finding solutions for the multiple issues faced by the disability affected patients is envisaged as part of the initiative.

Funding is also envisaged to be provided under the initiative for the hiring, training, and the educational development of qualified Autism trained health care professionals. Such professionals will include doctors with specialization in Autism, associated nursing staff, and early intervention specialists. They will also include teachers, day care service providers, psychologists, speech and language specialists, and parents.

The Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research in Illinois has been built under the stewardship of Obama when he was a Senator from that state. The School is an effort at bringing together specialists from many different fields to prepare and train Autism affected persons for independent living. Obama had earlier already ensured expanded lifelong support services for ASD affected persons by cosponsoring legislation that envisaged increased US federal government spending in that respect.

The current Obama initiative on ASD envisages the appointment of a US federal government appointed coordinator. He will be in office to oversee the governmental efforts directed at promoting the good of ASD affected disabled persons. The person so appointed will hold single point responsibility for the coordination of all aspects of ASD efforts in the White House.

The appointed person will also remove bureaucratic obstacles in the path of the efficient and quicker implementation of ASD efforts. A key part of his responsibilities will be to ensure that the results of federal funding for ASD efforts match and justify the money, resources, and urgency imparted to the initiative.

Another prong of the ASD initiative is devised to fully fund the federal Autism Research initiatives and the Combating Autism Act. Earlier there was a certain level of federal government funding for research into autism, for spreading public awareness about it, and for facilitating its early diagnosis. However, it is now felt that with increase in Autism and with the realization of the magnitude of the disability issue, funding needs to be enhanced.

Autism affects the visual acuity and the haring ability of affected children and adults. The illness causes not only physical disability, it also causes both mental and sensory difficulties. The Obama initiative calls for full funding of the educational needs of Autism affected children so that not one child lags behind other children. The initiative also moots universal screening of infants to detect Autism early so as to improve the quality of life of the still developing child in the formative years.