Autism advocates call for more focus on disorder during 2016 race

National Press Club on February 17, 2016. (Courtesy: Mark Meredith)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – An estimated three million Americans are living with some form of autism which has lead special needs advocates to push for both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to focus on people living with the disorder.

During a press conference on Wednesday, neurodiversity expert John Elder Robison urged the men and women running for the White House to reach out to Americans living with autism and their families.

“It’s a big deal for us, what are the candidates going to do to bring us into the conversation, and that’s done by bringing in autistic leaders,” said Robison during a event at the National Press Club. On former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s website, the Democratic front runner laid out plans to increase spending to help families dealing with autism and special needs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in 68 children have some form of autism. During Wednesday’s media event, autism advocates stressed it is often difficult for campaigns to come up with specific platforms for helping the autistic community because the spectrum of the disorder is wide ranging and can impact people in several forms.

In past speeches, several Republican and Democratic candidates have spoken out on the need for more support for autism research:

 

 

 

 

 

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