Tester calls more attention to autism

Senator sponsors bipartisan bill to increase research and awareness

(U.S. SENATE) – With autism affecting record numbers of children and families, Senator Jon Tester is raising awareness of the disorder.

Tester is supporting the bipartisan Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, which funds research, education, and outreach for a number of developmental disorders related to autism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the autism rate in the United States has increased 23 percent in the last three years.  Related disorders also affect more than one million American children.  Many factors have been linked to autism, but often its actual cause remains a mystery.

“Combating autism takes an all-out effort,” said Tester.  “Researching autism’s causes and improving outreach to parents and educators will help our kids get the attention they need and help us learn more about this serious disorder.”

“Autism is at epidemic levels, and we need to stand together and invest in research toward its causes,” said Laura Simonsen, an autism awareness advocate from Billings whose oldest son was diagnosed with autism.  “I applaud Senator Tester for his support and foresight by cosponsoring the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act.  He has been a strong advocate for those with autism throughout his entire term, and my family will forever be grateful.”

April is National Autism Awareness Month. 

Tester’s bipartisan Combating Autism Reauthorization Act is available online HERE.