Federal Resources on Autism
Federal Autism Activities: Agencies Are Encouraging Early Identification and Providing Services, and Recent Actions Could Improve Coordination (GAO-16-446) (2016)
Government Accountability Office - Research has shown that early identification and intervention can greatly improve the development of a child with autism. This GAO report examines: (1) how federal agencies encourage early autism identification and interventions, (2) the intervention services provided by federal education and health care programs, and (3) steps taken by federal agencies to improve research coordination. The GAO believes improved cross-agency coordination is still needed.
See also: Medicaid.gov: Autism Services
Addresses concerns about services for children with ASD, clarifying the requirements of the IDEA related to the provision of services for children with disabilities, including children with ASD. OSEP regularly updates its collection of policy letters regarding the early childhood provisions of the IDEA 2004 statute and regulations.
The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 reauthorizes and expands the provisions first introduced in the Combating Autism Act of 2006. The Autism CARES Act ensures support for research, services, prevalence tracking, and other government activities. The new legislation increases the annual budget on autism efforts to $369.7 million through 2024. New provisions expand the focus of government activities to include the entire lifespan of people on the autism spectrum and require a report on health and well-being. This legislation also reauthorizes and expands the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). President Trump signed the Autism CARES act into law on September 30, 2019.
The Children's Health Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-310), Title I, Section 104, mandated the establishment of an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to coordinate autism research and other efforts. The National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health has been designated the lead for this activity. Members of IACC include agencies across departments and parents or legal guardians of individuals with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders.
This Website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) includes fact sheets, videos, tips, and links to state-specific resources. One of the resources includes Tips for Early Care and Education Providers: Simple Concepts to Embed in Everyday Routines (2013) offered by autism intervention researchers around the country and compiled by ACF and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Federal Grants and Research
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a single source of information about national projects conducting research on interventions to improve the health and well being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.
The IES allows users to search historical grant data. In the "Program Field", select "Autism Spectrum Disorders" under the "Special Education Research" heading.