The Strategic Plan is written from a parent’s perspective. It is divided into 7 questions to be answered. Below I list the parts I think are the “meat” of the Plan—the proposed projects with estimated budgets.
In a very quick skim through the budget, I get 7 projects on environmental causes or gene-environment causes, with budgets totaling nearly $200M. Keep that in mind when people say there is no “environmental” research in the Plan.
There are a lot of new projects. My quick sum gives about $64M in projects for question 6 “What Does the Future Hold, Particularly for Adults?” I This is, to me, the most important part of the Plan.
Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned?
Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?
Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented?
Question 4: Which Treatments and Interventions will Help?
Question 5: Where Can I Turn for Services?
Question 6: What Does the Future Hold, Particularly for Adults?
1. New objective
1. New objective
Question 7: What other Infrastructure and Surveillance Needs Must be Met?
Short-Term and Long-Term Objectives
1. Conduct a needs assessment to determine how to merge or link administrative and/or surveillance databases that allow for tracking the involvement of people living with ASD in healthcare, education and social services by 2009 . IACC Recommended Budget: $520,000 over 1 year.
OK, we might as well get this over with—here are the times the Plan mentions the “V” word:
Numerous epidemiological studies have found no relationship between ASD and vaccines containing the mercury based preservative, thimerosal (Immunization Safety Review Committee, 2004). These data, as well as subsequent research, indicate that the link between autism and vaccines is unsupported by the epidemiological research literature. However, the IOM report acknowledged that the existing population-based studies were limited in their ability to detect small susceptible subpopulations that could be more genetically vulnerable to environmental exposures.
Of note, the Committee receives many public comments that reflect concerns about vaccines as a potential environmental factor in autism. Some members of the public are convinced that the current data are sufficient to demonstrate that vaccines do not play a causal role in autism and argue against using limited autism research funds to do additional vaccine studies when many other scientific avenues remain to be explored. At the same time, those who believe that prior studies of the possible role of vaccines in ASD have been insufficient argue that investigation of a possible vaccine/ASD link should be a high priority for research (e.g., a large-scale study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated groups). A third view urges shifting focus away from vaccines and onto much-needed attention toward the development of effective treatments, services and supports for those with ASD.
To address public concerns regarding a possible vaccine/ASD link, it will be important for the IACC to continue to coordinate with the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), a Federal advisory committee chartered to advise and make recommendations regarding the National Vaccine Program.
under research opportunities:
Monitor the scientific literature regarding possible associations of vaccines and other environmental factors (e.g., ultrasound, pesticides, pollutants) with ASD to identify emerging opportunities for research and indicated studies.
There closest thing to an actual proposed project (i.e. something with an estimated budget) is this one:
# New objective
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<a href="http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/02/iacc-strategic-plan-is-up/">The new IACC Strategic Plan is online</a>