Statements on autism by the presidential candidates.
From McCain's statement:
As you know, autism is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. Because of this, there is no single approach to resolving the many challenges of individuals with autism and their families. That is why I have supported a range of activities to improve the diagnosis, treatment, education, and lifespan needs of individuals with autism.
The first issue is to ensure that children with autism are diagnosed early -- when the condition is most treatable. All research indicates that children who receive comprehensive therapies can have dramatically improved outcomes. Federal efforts must support research to improve early diagnosis, intervention and treatment. I cosponsored and worked to enact the Combating Autism Act of 2006, which is helping to increase public awareness and screening of autism spectrum disorder, promotes the use of evidence-based interventions and created autism Centers of Excellence for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research and Epidemiology. ...
We must also strengthen our educational system, so that our schools can meet the needs of children with autism. Well-trained special education teachers are essential to the health of the public school system and speak volumes to our ability to ensure basic civil rights. I have often stated that our nation’s children deserve an equal opportunity to succeed. This opportunity should not stop short of children with autism, or any other developmental disability.
From Obama's statement:
As diagnostic criteria broaden and awareness increases, more cases of ASD have been recognized across the country. I believe that we can do more to help Americans with ASD and their families understand and live with these conditions. That's why I am committed to increasing federal funding for autism research and treatment to $1 billion annually by the end of my first term in office. I also believe that we should increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to truly ensure that no child is left behind.Links to the candidates' websites:
I also support the adoption of a comprehensive plan designed to provide lifelong supports and resources to Americans with ASD and other disabilities. This plan would ensure that their needs are met by:
• Reclaiming America's global leadership on disability issues by becoming a signatory to -- and having the Senate ratify -- the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
• Providing Americans with disabilities with the educational opportunities they need to succeed.
• Ending discrimination and promoting equal opportunity
• Increasing the employment rate of workers with disabilities, and
• Supporting independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.
More importantly, as you have all gathered here today to discuss, access to health care is a pressing need – one that we can no longer afford to ignore. As President, I will make high quality, portable health care plans affordable to all Americans, including the self-employed and small businesses.
Obama's homepage, and the campaign's disabilities page and a statement about autism.
The McCain campaign's website includes lots of information about the candidate's policy issues, including healthcare and education and this statement about autism.