Lawmakers advance bill to help people with autism

autism

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House is backing a bill that offers strategies for addressing the needs of the growing number of children diagnosed with autism.

The measure given unanimous approval on Wednesday would establish a permanent state commission on autism and develop a training program for teachers to help educate students with the disorder.

The proposal, which now goes to the Senate, would also allow families of children with autism spectrum disorder and other conditions to put money aside in tax-exempt savings accounts to help cover long-term expenses such as education, medical care, housing and job training.

The legislation would also expand eligibility for IQ-based state programs designed for adults with autism.

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