President Barack Obama

Autism campaigners from around the world congratulated President Elect Barack Obama for winning the race to the White House. This campaign was historic in many ways. It was the first time that Autism was mentioned specifically in a Presidential Debate and received a very high profile on the campaign trail. Barack Obama and John McCain had spoken on autism. VP Candidate Sarah Palin put special educational needs at the top of her agenda.

Autism campaigners are now looking to the new President Barack Obama to lead on autism in 2009. Autism organisations around the world have sent messages to Barack Obama urging the President Elect to take action on autism.

In Britain, the UK Autism Foundation was one of the first organisations to congratulate Barack Obama.

Ivan Corea of the UK Autism Foundation said in London: ‘I congratulate Barack Obama for winning the presidency of the United States of America, we hope that the winds of change will involve parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. I urge President Obama to make a clear statement to the world on autism on the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April 2009 and show the international community that he plans to take genuine and real action on autism.’

Autism Campaigners are also calling on the new President to open the gates of the White House to children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to mark the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day in 2009 and showcase the talents and successes of people with autism, not forgetting the continuing struggles that people have, particularly during the economic downturn.

Barack Obama has a clearly defined Autism Plan. During the campaign, Barack Obama released a statement on autism:’More than one million Americans have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a complex condition that impacts communication, socialization, and behavior. And more cases of ASD are being recognized across the country at an alarming pace. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that we must do more to help support Americans with ASD, their families, and their communities. Throughout his career, Barack Obama has worked with families affected by ASD to raise awareness and to provide support to parents and families living with ASD. As president, he will build on these many years of advocacy and ensure that his administration prioritizes ASD research, public awareness, and lifelong support services. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will seek to increase federal ASD funding for research, treatment, screenings, public awareness, and support services to $1 billion annually by the end of his first term in office. They will mandate insurance coverage of autism treatment and will also continue to work with parents, physicians, providers, researchers, and schools to create opportunities and effective solutions for people with ASD.’

Campaigners are now looking to the new President in the White House to bring change where autism is concerned and lead from the front on the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April 2009.

For the statement on autism by Barack Obama please access the link:
http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/AutismSpectrumDisorders.pdf

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