Public comment requested nationally for autism


Members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meet in 2014 in Bethesda, Md. (Isaac Kohane / Flickr)

Federal officials await public comment as a panel of key experts work to update the government’s autism agenda for the first time in years.

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a group of government officials and members of the autism community responsible for advising the Secretary of Health and Social Services and coordinating federal activities on autism, is working on updating its strategic plan for autism spectrum disorders. The plan guides priorities for autism research, services and supports and is being used by both federal agencies and private organizations.

As part of the process, the committee is seeking feedback from stakeholders.

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“The IACC is seeking feedback on what you see as the most important issues, needs and gaps in these seven topical areas that could be addressed through federal programs and activities, and / or in partnership with organizations. community, ”reads the committee’s announcement.

The strategic plan was organized around several themes – screening and diagnosis, biology, risk factors, treatments and interventions, services, lifespan issues and infrastructure and surveillance. In addition, the IACC is seeking comments on two new topics, one related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the autism community and the other on considerations for underserved populations such as racial and ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged communities and rural populations.

Under the Autism CARES Act, the strategic plan is supposed to be updated every year, but the last update was in 2019. Since then, the IACC has taken a two-year hiatus after the expiration of all member terms and there was a delay in appointing a new committee.

The Federal Autism Panel met again for the first time this summer and is now moving forward with an update to the plan.

Public comments are being collected until November 30.

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