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New national autism law passed in the United States

In August 2014, the United States adopted a new national law; the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (also known as the ‘Autism CARES Act’). 
The Autism CARES Act reauthorises the ‘Combating Autism Act’ adopted in 2006, for another five years, and adds some important improvements. The original law provided federal resources for autism research, awareness-raising and training for professionals. The title of the Act was changed to respect the wishes of autism advocates who felt the original title was stigmatising.
The new Act includes measures to:
  • improve the coordination and provision of services to people with autism;
  • improve the collection and analysis of statistical data on children and adults with autism;
  • increase the representation of people with autism in the committee overseeing the changes;
  • improve assistance for young people with autism to transition from school to postsecondary education or employment.