Autism research way to little, and misdirected
Please contact your member of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC and ask him or her to reject House Resolution HR. 4631 and Senate Bill S. 2449, the reauthorization (refunding) of the former Combating Autism Act. In a truly bizarre move the bill has been renamed the Autism CARES (Collaboration, Accountability , Research, Education and Support) Act. This was done to placate the people who think that there is nothing wrong with autism and that we should not look for the causes, treatments and possible cures for autism.
Please click on the Take Action link above to send a message to your member of the House of Representatives and your two US Senators to let them know that federal autism research efforts are wholly inadequate and misdirected. Tomorrow we will be sending you your Reps phone numbers and ask you to call.
We believe that the federal government spending on autism research has been a fraction of that required compared to the scope of the epidemic, and the money allocated so far has been misspent. Finding the environmental causes of autism, the biological mechanisms in the body, treatments and possible cures, need to be the focus of a redirected federal autism research program at a far larger scale than the current proposal.
And while almost $2 billion is a lot of money, it is paltry compared to the spending directed to other health disorders. According to the CDC about 1 million Americans are infected with HIV and about 1 million Americans have ASD. Yet annual research spending on HIV/AIDS is 25 times autism spending. In the next federal budget for 2015 $3 billion will be spent on HIV/AIDS research, which is about the annual sum devoted to AIDS research for the past 20 years for a total of more than $60 billion. This investment led to finding the cause of AIDS, effective prevention methods, and treatments that allow people infected with HIV to lead productive lives. Yet with autism we do not officially know the causes, we have no prevention methods, no treatments, and no officially recognized cures. The case of HIV/AIDS proves that major advances can happen as the result of federal research investment if the will to do so is there, and if the money is spent wisely.
The little money devoted on autism research so far has been misspent. A Government Accountability Office report of 2013 concluded that 84% of autism research spending so far could be duplicative. And for every dollar spent on looking for environmental causes of autism, $8 has been spent of the endless search for the hypothetical autism gene or genes.
Please stay in-touch with your elected officials on this issue and please share this message with friends and family and post to social networks like Facebook.