Among the good people in the autism community, there is a clear and sometimes bitter divide. Some advocates focus on research into prevention and cures. Others clamor for more adult services that allow autistic people to thrive and shine with their unique wiring.
Perhaps recognizing that it takes a village to advance the cause of people who think differently, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday proposed a sweeping autism agenda that addresses the concerns of both camps.
The Democratic presidential front-runner wants new services, rights protections, and employment opportunities for adults with autism, and called for a first-ever U.S. study of adult autism prevalence and needs—all at the urging of Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a nonprofit run by and for autistic people.
She also called for a “significant increase” in government funding for research into autism, the primary focus of some advocates. Autism Speaks has launched a groundbreaking genome sequencing program in hopes of improving diagnosis and treatment of autism. (The group also offers tool kits that help autistic people live independently, and has built a website – created by a person with autism – that matches employers with potential employees on the spectrum.)