Autism Votes... It's time for lawmakers to listen

Dear Autism Advocate,

Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today applauded the introduction of the groundbreaking Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (ATAA). Originally drafted by then-Senator Barack Obama and introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), ATAA is comprehensive federal legislation that addresses several critical challenges facing the autism community, including increased funding for scientific research, treatment and services. The ATAA incorporates provisions from the Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act (EPIAA), originally proposed by then-Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

A key section of the bill requires all insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASDs), including coverage of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy – a medically-necessary, evidence-based autism treatment. In most states, insurers are currently allowed to specifically exclude coverage for these critical services, which can cost upward of $50,000 a year – well beyond the means of most families.

To help address the unique needs of adults with ASDs, the bill would create a demonstration project with one-year planning grants and multi-year implementation grants for the provision of service for adults with autism. In addition, it creates the National Autism Translational “Research to Services” Network aimed at accelerating the dissemination and utilization of critical, new information, moving it from “bench to bedside” as quickly as possible.

For a complete summary description of this bill, go to

Help us get it PASSED!

1. CONTACT YOUR FEDERAL SENATOR! Urge him/her to become a cosponsor of the ATAA bill.

Call your Senator's office and let him/her know that you support the ATAA bill and you want your Senator to become a cosponsor today. Click here to find the name and phone number for your federal Senator!

Send an email to your Senator! Autism Votes has written part of the email message for you. All you need to do is fill in the empty box with your story about your family's experience with autism and how the ATAA bill will help.

2. STAY INFORMED ON THE ATAA BILL! Sign up to receive Autism Votes email alerts and stay informed on the progress of this bill.

3. FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY! Get your friends and family involved in getting the ATAA bill passed.

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions. This is landmark legislation, and we are proud that our US Senator, Dick Durbin, is one of the primary sponsors. Senator Durbin is a leader who reached out to the autism community as he was drafting this legislation. We were pleased to play a role, and proud that Senator Durbin came to TAP for one of his first media events about the bill. Watch the TV coverage on our YouTube channel:

    Mark Schmidt
    The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP)