Presidential campaigns are the most important moments in which Americans debate what kind of country we want to be - what are our priorities and how can we achieve them?
Autism is a national emergency, an epidemic, which requires an urgent national response.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorders ("autism") - up from 1 in 10,000 as recently as 1980.
Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups, and the economic costs have been estimated at $137 billon per year at a cost to an affected family of up to $2.3 million. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.
Ignoring these astonishing facts, the Government of the United States still shows no urgency in addressing the epidemic rise in autism rates and the response from the current and former Administrations has been dismal. This year, federal research spending on autism will be lower than on many far less prevalent medical conditions. It will be less than our government will spend every 12 hours on the war in Afghanistan.
The many charitable, tax exempt organizations which serve the autism community are prevented, by law, from engaging in certain kinds of political activity defined by law. They cannot say all that needs to be said, in the ways it needs to be said, to or about the candidates.
The Autism Super PAC aims to make autism an important issue in the Presidential campaign, to insist that President Obama and Governor Romney pledge the next Administration to make autism a national priority.
The extended family of the autism community includes a sizeable percentage of the American people. We live in every state, including those considered most highly contested in this election. Joined by other millions of Americans, not directly affected by autism but believing that our national government should address national emergencies, we are a political force overlooked at great political peril by either candidate for President.
The Autism Super PAC intends to demand that we be overlooked no more, both in the weeks between now and election day and in the months that follow when the new President should be judged against his policy commitments during the campaign.