SACRAMENTO, CA – State Senator Lou Correa (Orange County) was selected to serve as a member of the recently established Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders. The new committee, chaired by the Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, will include nine senators. Their primary focus is developing policies and legislation to fully address the number of issues resulting from the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) epidemic impacting families in California .
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities defined by significant impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests and it is the fastest growing development disability in the country. ASD affects more young males than females, and it is more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. Currently there is no medical detection or cure for autism.
“In California, we have to change the way we think about autism. We have to rise awareness on how we can help the struggling families affected by this epidemic,” said Senator Correa. “As legislators, we need to implement innovative and cost-effective solutions to approach this epidemic and its devastating effects. We need to make sure that individuals affected with autism have equal access and opportunities to health, housing, education and employment. The outcome of this committee is going to change the way we see and approach this epidemic in our state,” Correa concluded.
Last year Senator Correa introduced Senate Bill 1531, a measure that required Peace Officers training on handling autistic individuals when they come across them in a public setting.Â SB 1531 was signed into law by the Governor and went into effect this year.