Autism Wiki

The Autism CARES Act of 2014 is a United States federal law (Pub. Law No. 113-157)[1] that served as a name change from the Combating Autism Act of 2006 upon it's re-authorization. CARES is an acronym for "Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support".


The Combating Autism Act was a United States federal law (Pub. Law No. 109-416)[2] which came into force on December 19, 2006. The Act committed around one billion dollars in expenses over a period of 5 years. It was renewed in 2011 before being renamed in 2014 to the Autism CARES Act. The original full name of the 2014 bill was the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, but the Autistic Self Advocacy Network pressured Congress into the name change removing the word "combating".[3] Originally in 2006 when the original Act was approved, Jonathan Shestack - then the co founder of Cure Autism Now - was quoted as saying "This bill is a federal declaration of war on the epidemic of autism".[4] ASAN was not happy with this language and Ari Ne'eman addressed the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) stating;

"A “War on Autism” approach is not in the interests of people on the spectrum. It offends and alienates the autistic community. This is the community of verbal and nonverbal individuals on the autism spectrum – distinguishable from the autism community of the parents, professionals and others who often claim to speak on our behalf. We are usually the last to be consulted on autism policy; the autistic community should be the first to have input into policymaking about our own futures."[5]