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Report to Congress Cover 2012

Report to Congress

On Activities Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities

FY 2010 - FY 2012

Required Elements of the Report to Congress (FY 2010 - FY 2012)

In addition to a summary of the role of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and NIH Office of Autism Research Coordination in coordinating ASD efforts, this Report to Congress overviews each federal agency that supports projects or programs related to ASD, as well as highlights information on current ASD incidence estimates, the present diagnostic and intervention landscape, ongoing efforts in ASD supports and services, and strategies to address the continuing needs of diverse ASD communities.

With data from the Department of Education (ED), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DoD), National Science Foundation (NSF), and nine federal agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this report addresses ASD research and services according to the required elements outlined in the CAA (see a complete list of required elements). Elements (1) and (2) have been combined into one chapter covering the general progress made and amounts expended during the past 3 years in federal ASD research efforts by lead agencies and offices. Elements (7) and (8) have been combined into one chapter covering the effectiveness and outcomes of interventions for individuals with ASD.

Federal Departments and Agencies included in this Report

  • Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]
    • Administration for Children and Families [ACF]
    • Administration for Community Living [ACL]
    • Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality [AHRQ]
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]
    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]
    • Food and Drug Administration [FDA]
    • Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA]
    • National Institutes of Health [NIH]
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA]
  • Department of Education [ED]
  • Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]
  • Department of Defense [DoD]
  • National Science Foundation [NSF]

Federal Departments Supporting ASD Activities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the chief U.S. agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. HHS includes more than 300 programs and 10 operating divisions covering a wide spectrum of activities, and includes nine federal agencies represented in this Report to Congress. The following HHS operating divisions' autism research and services activities are described in this report: Administration for Children and Families, Administration for Community Living, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED also supports programs to develop and implement evidence-based practices for educating children with autism. Although the Department of Education does not receive appropriations under the Combating Autism Act, ED does contribute significantly to ASD-related services and supports under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. Within the DoD's Defense Health Research Program, the Autism Research Program (ARP) was established in 2007 with the mission to improve the lives of individuals with ASD by promoting innovative research that advances the understanding of ASD and leads to improved outcomes for those with ASD. Although the DoD is not one of the federal agencies identified under the 2006 Combating Autism Act (CAA), this report includes updates on the Defense Health Research Program, ARP, as well as TRICARE (the health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System), which aids military families affected by ASD, and the DoD-Air Force, which helps establish infrastructure to monitor rates of autism, improve care, and act as a resource for research into the causes of ASD.

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