Establishes the Hawaii Autism Center of Excellence within the
University of Hawaii School of Medicine.  (SB2448 HD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that:
 2      (1)  Autism is a complex developmental disability that
 3           typically appears in the first three years of life, the
 4           result of a neurological disorder that affects the
 5           functioning of the brain;
 6      (2)  Autism and its associated behaviors, including but not
 7           limited to significant impairments in areas of
 8           communication, language development, social skills and
 9           interaction, and leisure and/or normal-type play
10           activities is estimated to occur in as many as 1 in 500
11           persons (centers for disease control and prevention,
12           1997).  This estimate may be lower than the actual
13           number due to a lack of accurate diagnostic screening
14           and expertise in this area;
15      (3)  Autism falls within the american psychiatric
16           association's DSM-IV category of Pervasive
17           Developmental Disorder (PDD), and there are related
18           disorders under the category of PDD, all of which are
19           included in this section, and are referred to as Autism

Page 2                                                     2448
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        H.D. 1

 1           Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Symptoms and characteristics
 2           of an ASD can present themselves in a wide variety of
 3           combinations, from mild to severe.  Autism and ASD are
 4           lifetime disabilities which have significant impacts on
 5           the functioning of the person with the disorder as well
 6           as on their families;
 7      (4)  The majority of children with autism/ASD will not
 8           achieve independence as adults and must be cared for by
 9           their families and or institutions during their
10           lifetime;
11      (5)  Millions of dollars are spent each year by the State to
12           care for children with Autism/ASD due to the number of
13           individuals affected with these disorders;
14      (6)  Autism/ASD is the third most common developmental
15           disorder and is more prevalent than Down's Syndrome,
16           childhood cancer or cystic fibrosis;
17      (7)  Although there is growing federal interest in the area
18           of autism and ASD, it receives less than five per cent
19           of the funds allocated for research by the federal
20           government;
21      (8)  Scientists consider Autism/ASD to be a congenital
22           developmental disorder and most likely to yield to
23           scientific advancements in genetics and neurology;

Page 3                                                     2448
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        H.D. 1

 1      (9)  Recent advances in biomedical, behavioral, educational,
 2           and other research suggest that accurate diagnosis and
 3           effective interventions will improve treatments for
 4           Autism/ASD.  This is attainable if there is sufficient
 5           funding for multi-disciplinary applied clinical
 6           research;
 7     (10)  The diverse symptoms and etiology of Autism/ASD require
 8           a high level of expertise and interaction in a wide
 9           variety of interdisciplinary fields, from bio-psycho-
10           social to educational to determine definitive diagnosis
11           and effective interventions;
12     (11)  Hawaii will benefit from the establishment of an autism
13           center of excellence through improved diagnostic
14           assessment and evaluation as well as more timely and
15           effective interventions for persons with an autism
16           spectrum disorder; and
17     (12)  Other states have established autism research centers,
18           including nationally recognized centers in California,
19           Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and New
20           York, and these centers attract millions of dollars of
21           funding from the National Institutes of Health and
22           private sources; and Hawaii can receive similar federal
23           funding for autism/ASD multidisciplinary research if a
24           research center is established.

Page 4                                                     2448
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        H.D. 1

 1      The purpose of this Act is to establish a Hawaii center for
 2 autism/ASD services, training, and research.
 3      SECTION 2.  Chapter 304, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 4 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 5 read as follows:
 6      "304-    Autism consultation services; training and
 7 research.  There is established the Hawaii autism center of
 8 excellence, within the University of Hawaii at Manoa school of
 9 medicine.  The center shall serve as a central clinical and
10 academic resource for state-of-the-art autism and autism spectrum
11 disorder diagnostic assessment and evaluation as well as
12 therapeutic and educational interventions, consultation,
13 training, and applied clinical research.  The center shall
14 endeavor to collaborate nationwide in efforts to identify the
15 most effective therapeutic and educational interventions.
16      Research shall be a multidisciplinary effort among
17 educational, psychosocial, and behavioral disciplines, including
18 but not limited to pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, psychology,
19 speech communication, occupational therapy, physical therapy,
20 social work, and nursing.  The center shall:
21      (1)  Apply for federal funding and charitable foundation
22           grants;

Page 5                                                     2448
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        H.D. 1

 1      (2)  Provide consultation, services, training, and research
 2           to the full spectrum of youth with autism and autism
 3           spectrum disorder;
 4      (3)  Seek to attain national recognition as a preeminent
 5           Pacific institution for autism spectrum disorder
 6           services, consultation, training, and multi-
 7           disciplinary research;
 8      (4)  Collaborate with the state and private sector service
 9           providers in efforts to address the needs of
10           individuals with autism and autism spectrum disorder;
11      (5)  Collaborate with persons with autism and autism
12           spectrum disorder, their families, and communities in
13           addressing service and support needs for the purposes
14           of this section; and
15      (6)  Establish an advisory committee and select members of
16           the committee who represent the University of Hawaii,
17           department of health, department of education, and two
18           public members with autism, to advise the center for
19           purposes of this section."
20      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenue
21 of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof
22 as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001 for start-up
23 funding of the Hawaii autism center of excellence.

Page 6                                                     2448
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        H.D. 1

 1      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 2 University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.
 3      SECTION 5.  New statutory material is underscored.
 4      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.