REPORT TITLE:
Autism


DESCRIPTION:
Establishes the Hawaii Autism Center of Excellence within the
University of Hawaii School of Medicine.  (SD2)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO AUTISM.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 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
 

 
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 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;
 

 
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 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
 

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

 
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 1      (1)  Apply for federal funding and charitable foundation
 
 2           grants;
 
 3      (2)  Serve persons with autism and autism spectrum disorder
 
 4           ranging from infants to adults statewide;
 
 5      (3)  Seek to attain national recognition as a pre-eminent
 
 6           Pacific institution for autism spectrum disorder 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.
 

 
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 1      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 
 2 University of Hawaii at Manoa 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.