Note: This page is a reproduction of the Hillary for America policy proposal on autism. 

More than 3.5 million Americans are believed to have autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—including an estimated one in every 68 children. And the cost of treatment and services is more than most families can afford. Improving support for children and adults with autism can vastly improve their lives—and make the cost more sustainable for families.

Hillary Clinton is proposing a new, wide-ranging autism initiative that will:

  • Expand insurance coverage for autism services. Hillary will improve access to autism services through and private health insurance plans.
  • Conduct a nationwide early screening outreach campaign. Hillary’s plan will boost early screening rates so that kids can get diagnosed and receive the services that will make a difference in their lives.
  • Invest in more research to deepen our understanding of autism. As president, Hillary will significantly increase funding for autism-related research and call for the first-ever nationwide study of the prevalence of adult autism.
  • Increase employment opportunities for individuals with autism. Hillary will work to close the employment gap by launching a new Autism Works Initiative that will include a post-graduation transition plan for every student with autism, along with a public-private partnership to connect people with autism to employment opportunities.
  • Keep students with autism safe at school. Hillary will work to ensure students with disabilities, including autism, are protected from bullying at school.

Hillary has a long record of advocating for children and families affected by autism,describing it in 2007 as “one of the most urgent—and least understood—challenges facing our children.”

  • As first lady, she fought hard for more awareness and funding for autism, including supporting the bipartisan Children’s Health Act of 2000, which had a special focus on autism research.
  • In the Senate, she introduced the bipartisan Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act (EPIAA) to expand access to interventions and support for Americans with autism. And she cosponsored legislation in 2006 that authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending on autism-related programs, including research, education, early detection, and intervention.