Should Autism Funding go towards Research or Services?

So often we hear about that funding is being directed toward research. Some of us wonder, should some of this funding be directed toward programs that benefit our children and adults? While I certainly wish for there to be funding to provide services for all children and adults who need it, I can see how connected these two areas actually are.

researchWe know that there is no single cause of autism; in fact, the common consensus among researchers now is that there are several possible influences and genetic factors that come in to play, some of which may even interact. Certainly, we all agree with the adage: “If you know one person with autism, then you know one person with autism.” This saying illustrates the extreme variation within autism the autism spectrum, not only of outward expressions but also in the bio markers that can be observed.

When I think back to Ryan’s school career, I remember the numerous methods and strategies we used until we realized that with ABA, Ryan was the most successful. I truly think he is who he is today because we so intensely engaged him 60 hours a week or more in discreet trial instruction.

autism key

Throughout the research articles I am constantly sifting through, I have extracted a common sentiment: we are closer than ever to understanding how personalized treatments, some may even say a “cure,” could be developed.

Imagine a future where this would be not only possible, but commonplace. Personalized autism care and treatment as a result of the deep understanding of that individual’s biological disposition, and associated physical and mental health conditions. This would drastically change the way that we provide services across the industry. I would like to think that by providing such specialized care, it would only increase the overall efficiency of our nation’s service providers… perhaps even reducing costs!

I still hope for a future where all of this is possible. I have deep admiration for the numerous service providers and coordinators, including our own, and I know how tirelessly they work on behalf of our children and adults. And yes, funding can be tricky at times. But we must always attempt to grow and learn, to provide the best possible future for our world!

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