President Trump signs "Autism Cares Act," providing $1.8 billion for research

(Source: President Donald Trump via Twitter)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- On Monday, President Donald Trump signed into law the "Autism Cares Act."

The bill, which expands on the Combating Autism Act of 2006, "will fund critical biomedical autism research as well as the development of best practices to enhance the lives of persons with autism," according to Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who along with Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) sponsored the bipartisan legislation.

It provides $1.8 billion in funding for autism programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and Health Resources and Services Administration.

The CDC points out new provisions expand government activities to include the entire lifespan of people on the autism spectrum. It also requires a report on health and well-being in the next 24 months.

"We need answers now and treatment options and interventions that work," Smith added.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The CDC says it affects about 1 in 59 children and is about four times more common in boys than girls.