Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Meehan, advocates discuss rise in autism rates

Local advocates and representatives from service organizations discussed the rising rates in Autism Spectrum Disorders during a two-hour meeting with U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, on Monday.

Last week, Meehan attended a U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the federal response to rising rates of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Currently, 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March. Those figures show an increase from just a few years ago when the autism estimate was 1 in 150 children.

At the congressional hearing, Meehan said he challenged officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health about the need to make this issue a top priority.

Meehan said he wanted to conduct a roundtable discussion with local autism advocates after the hearing to find out more about where there are gaps in care and services for these children and their families.

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