The 16-member committee, made up of lawmakers, parents, doctors and health officials "will look at services, teaching, training and research and then make recommendations for improving the quality of life for those with autism and their families," according to a statement released by the panel's chairman, State Sen. Scott T. Rupp. "We need to find solutions now that address the dramatically increasing concerns for families, service providers and policy makers," said Rupp, a Republican from Wentzville.
The tentative schedule of public hearings begins this week and carries on through the summer:
- June 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Senate Lounge at the State Capitol in Jefferson City.
- July 20 in Cape Girardeau
- August 10 in Springfield
- August 31 in St. Louis
- September 21 in Kansas City.
Citizens can also submit testimony by e-mail (to email@example.com) or by mail to Senator Scott T. Rupp, Attn. Blue Ribbon Panel on Autism, State Capitol Building, Room 426, Jefferson City, MO 65101, FAX: 573-526-4766.
For more background on the Missouri autism panel, see this article.