Clinton Unveils Plan To Increase Autism Services

Well the Iowa Caucuses have come and gone, with Clinton in a slight lead for the Democrats. One of the reasons may be due to what I read in Disability Scoop that presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton wants to expand autism insurance coverage and job opportunities for those on the spectrum while reducing the use of restraint and seclusion.

And so far she is the only candidate who has put out a detailed plan and with a dramatically changed view of autism since 2008. It will be interesting to see if any other presidential candidates will follow suit.

The steps are part of a broad plan to address the needs of the nation’s growing number of children and adults with autism that the Democratic presidential candidate unveiled  while campaigning in Iowa.

“Too many American families are staying up at night worrying about their family members, especially children, who are living with autism. There is more we can do,” Clinton said in a statement.

The wide-ranging agenda calls for a nationwide screening effort to ensure that all children with the developmental disorder – including girls and those from minority backgrounds – are identified early. Clinton said she would push states to widen insurance coverage mandates to ensure that behavioral and developmental services are available to individuals of all ages.

The former senator said she wants to see legislation known as the Keeping All Students Safe Act that would limit the use of restraint and seclusion in schools enacted. And, Clinton said she would “toughen” the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on bullying to further protect students with autism from being victimized in the classroom.

Clinton’s plan calls for the creation of a new Autism Works Initiative that would offer resources and engage public-private partnerships to “ensure a post-graduation transition plan for every student with autism” and expand employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, Clinton said she would instruct the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct the first-ever nationwide autism prevalence study on adults.

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