Durbin Marks Autism Acceptance Month With The Autism Society Of Southern Illinois

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke virtually with the Autism Society of Southern Illinois to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month. The Autism Society of Sothern Illinois provides services to those on the autism spectrum without regard to a person’s age, race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or income level. Members of the Autism Society of America, Illinois Autism Task Force, Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Autism Workforce also were on the call.

“Autism has touched the lives of so many families in our country, with more than 5 million people currently living with this condition—including many in Illinois,” Durbin said. “There is so much we can do to help patients and families who are impacted. I will continue to work alongside you all to improve their lives and provide support."

For years, Durbin has introduced the American Cures Act which provides mandatory annual federal funding increases for medical research at the nation’s top biomedical research institutions. Durbin has also successfully worked on the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) budget by more than 41 percent over the last six years. As a result of these NIH increases, funding for autism research at the NIH has increased by more than 50 percent since fiscal year 2014.

Last Congress, Durbin’s Supporting America’s Caregivers and Families Act, was signed into law. More than 80 percent of adults with autism live at home and receive support from a family caregiver. These expenses can be overwhelming for many parents and caregivers. The Supporting America’s Caregivers and Families Act increased funding, training, and support for family caregivers.