Matheson questions federal, nonprofit researchers on rising rates of autism11/29/12
Washington, D.C.—Congressman Jim Matheson joined House colleagues on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Thursday to hear from a panel of experts regarding research findings about increased rates of autism.
Matheson noted that Utah has the highest rate of autism in the U.S., with one out of every 47 children in the state diagnosed with the disorder. Autism is a complex group of developmental brain disorders, collectively called “autism spectrum disorder” (ASD). While some children are mildly affected by their symptoms, others may be severely disabled.
“Concerned parents throughout Utah struggle to educate and care for their autistic children. Special education teachers do remarkable work every day on these kids’ behalf. I support responsible and reasonable federal funding for medical research that holds the key to future treatment and effective care,” said Matheson.
Matheson said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one percent of the population between the ages of 3 and 17 has an autism spectrum disorder. His questions for federal researchers included what might be causing the increase in autism rates and what science might offer to Utahns in order for them to reduce the risk.