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Dear USA: This Canadian Father With a Severely Autistic Son Says Thank You for Combating Autism

Posted May 29 2011 4:55am
"in order to continue meeting the needs of people with autism, the Combating Autism Act
must be fully reauthorized. We still have a long way to go. Working collaboratively with
important partners, the Affordable Care Act and the Combating Autism Act will allow   
 us to research and develop and refine vital treatments

Kathleen Sebelius,  US Secretary of Health and Human Services, April 25, 2011

Autism is a severe and limiting medical disorder for which treatments and cures must be found through solid, focused research.  Autism is a disorder which should be combated so that those who suffer from it can live fuller, more independent, lives. Here in Canada we do not have a serious, focused national autism strategy or recognition of the need for a national effort to combat autism disorders.  We are lucky that our  neighbors in the US have had the good sense and determination  to try and address and combat autism disorders through research  efforts under the Combating Autism Act.

This Canadian  thinks of many things when I think of the USA.  Some of these things are negative. Most are positive, very positive. I think of our neighbors as confident, freedom loving people who constantly seek to better themselves. I think of Americans as people with strong commitments to family.  I think of Americans as people who are afraid of no challenge as amply demonstrated by the audacious and successful commitment by former President John F. Kennedy to put men on the moon by the end of the 1960's.  Autism is a serious disorder which impairs and restricts the lives of those who suffer from it.  The continued efforts in the US, under the provisions of the Combating Autism Act, have helped direct research toward understanding and finding treatments and cures for autism.  It is of great  importance for everyone affected by the serious challenges of autism, including Canadians, that those efforts, and the Combating Autism Act, continue.
This Canadian father with a severely autistic son says thank you to our American friends for the efforts made under the Combating Autism Act.  I  hope you decide to continue this important undertaking. It may not be as glamorous as putting men on the moon but, for many affected by autism and their families, it is of fundamental importance.
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