Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (08/03/2006)

Combating Autism Act of 2006 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Public Health Service Act to rewrite provisions governing National Institutes of Health (NIH) autism research. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of NIH, to develop and implement a strategic plan to conduct and support autism spectrum disorder research.

Requires the Director of NIH to award grants or contracts for centers of excellence on environmental health and autism spectrum disorder.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish mechanisms and entities to collect, store, coordinate, and make publicly available data collected by the centers of excellence and data generated from public and private research partnerships.

Directs the Secretary to establish a program under which samples of tissue and genetic and other biological material are donated, collected, preserved, and made available for autism spectrum disorder research.

(Sec. 3) Allows the Secretary, acting through the Director of CDC, to awards grants or cooperative agreements for the collection, analysis, and reporting of state epidemiological data on autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of CDC, to award grants or cooperative agreements for the establishment of regional centers of excellence in such disabilities epidemiology to collect and analyze information on the number, incidence, correlates and causes of such disabilities.

Requires the Secretary to establish and evaluate activities to: (1) inform and educate on such disabilities to increase awareness of developmental milestones; (2) promote research into the development and validation of reliable screening tools for such disabilities; (3) promote early screening of individuals at higher risk for such disabilities; and (4) increase the number of individuals who are able to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of such a disability and provide evidence-based interventions for individuals diagnosed with such disabilities.

Directs the Secretary to provide culturally competent information regarding such disabilities and evidence-based interventions for individuals and their families through state and federal programs and community organizations. Requires states to provide individuals with information about state and local resources.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) develop a curriculum for continuing education to assist individuals in recognizing the need for, and using, valid and reliable screening tools; (2) collect, store, coordinate, and make publicly available such tools and other products that are used by federal programs; (3) expand existing interdisciplinary training opportunities or opportunities to increase the number of sites able to diagnose individuals with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities; (4) promote research into additional tools for shortening the time required to confirm diagnoses of such disabilities and for detecting individuals with such disabilities at an early age; and (5) promote research to determine evidence-based practices for interventions for such individuals, develop guidelines for those interventions, and disseminate information related to such research and guidelines.

Requires the Secretary to establish the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to: (1) coordinate all efforts within HHS concerning autism spectrum disorder; (2) make recommendations concerning the strategic plan; (3) develop and update advances in research; and (4) make recommendations to the Secretary regarding public participation in decisions relating to such disorder. Sets forth reporting requirements.

Repeals provisions that: (1) require NIH to expand, intensify, and coordinate autism research activities; (2) allow the Secretary, acting through the Director of CDC, to make awards of grants and cooperative agreements to collect, analyze, and report data on autism and pervasive developmental disabilities; (3) require the Secretary to establish a program to provide information and education on autism to health professionals and the general public; and (4) require the Secretary to establish the Autism Coordinating Committee to coordinate all HHS efforts concerning autism.