Obama budget sets $222 million for autism
President Obama makes good on his promise to support autism research in his budget proposal. More than one in 110 children in the United States has an autism or autism-related diagnosis, such as Asperger Syndrome. The president’s $3.8 trillion budget includes $222 million for autism research. Last year, the Obama administration allocated tens of millions of dollars in grants through the National Institutes of Health for autism-related research. Among the recipients were researchers at more than a dozen top universities including the University of Michigan, University of California-Davis, University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University. Some research projects:
- adapting the current standard for diagnosing autism into a brief parent interview that can be done over the phone — reducing screening costs.
- expanding a pilot program to identify subtypes of autism based on behavioral, biochemical and brain imaging markers.
- discovering and tracking genes involved in autism that could lead to specific treatments.
- developing interventions for parents that might minimize behaviors and developmental delays in a second child.
- defining the role that race, gender, socioeconomics and culture play in diagnosis and finding ways to reverse the pattern of African American children with autism being underserved.
- assessing the changing cognition, service needs and quality of life on young adults and older adults with autism.
- understanding the impact of sensory integration on communication and social skills.
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