Panel Urges Overhaul of State Autism Services
A state advisory group is calling on California lawmakers to pursue legislation to address the state's increasing population of people with autism, especially as a large number of such people prepare to move into community settings, MediaNews/San Jose Mercury News reports.
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the nation, with the incidence of the condition jumping by more than 600% in recent years, according to MediaNews/Mercury News.
In its report to the Legislature, the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism recommends that the state:
- Expand efforts to diagnose autism early;
- Bolster education services for people with autism;
- Develop regulations to guarantee that appropriate health insurance coverage is available;
- Undertake a public awareness campaign about autism; and
- Work to educate judges and law enforcement officers about the disorder to help ensure appropriate treatment of autistic people in the criminal justice system.
The report urges lawmakers to pursue legislation to kick off pilot programs aimed at addressing those targets (Geissinger, MediaNews/San Jose Mercury News, 9/19). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.