August Autism Matters: Autism News

Capitol

Senate passes autism billThe Hill – With the Senate’s approval July 31 of the Autism CARES Act, federal funding for autism services and research is all but secure for another five years. The act also seeks to increase the influence of people with autism in the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and improve services for adults on the spectrum.

Feds clarify obligations to kids with autismDisability Scoop – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a bulletin last month to specify which autism services are included under Medicaid coverage. The result: expanded coverage for “medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services,” which could include occupational therapy, applied behavior analysis, medical equipment and more.

Congress comes together to help the disabled save, tax-freeMSNBC  – While Congress did not pass the ABLE Act before its August recess, the bill did advance through the House Ways and Means Committee and has widespread bipartisan support. It would allow people with autism and others with disabilities to save money for disability-related expenses in tax-free 529 savings accounts.

Congrats to Congress on a job well done – WIOA passes both houses!Huffington Post – The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which aims to improve job training, education and services for people with disabilities, became law with President Obama’s signature on July 22 after successfully passing through Congress.

Autistic twins who were locked in basement will be temporarily cared for by guardiansThe Washington Post – Twenty-two-year-old twins with autism whose parents locked them in an unlit, unfurnished basement at night were rescued by police in Montgomery County, Maryland. The parents are on trial, and the county is seeking guardianship of the two men. An earlier Post article was widely criticized as sympathetic to the twins’ parents and excusing abusive behavior by caregivers.