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With All Eyes On Swine Flu, Thousands of Parents Ask President Obama 'How Much Longer' Until Autism Gets Similar Attention
Date:9/9/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just since midnight, over 50,000 letters have gone to President Barack Obama and others as part of a new campaign to bring attention to the rising numbers of autism cases. The National Autism Association (NAA) declared today as National "How Much Longer" Day for Autism, a day of letter-writing to the media, health agencies, Department of Education, lawmakers and the Obama Administration asking for such things as health insurance coverage, federal laws to protect special-ed students from dangerous restraint and seclusion practices in schools, safer vaccines, and for autism to be declared a nation health crisis. Seeing how much attention is being paid to the H1N1 virus, many parents are wondering why autism is the fastest growing disorder, yet has received very little aid.

In a letter to its members, NAA stated, "We've asked for [help] politely, impolitely, loudly, softly, creatively, professionally, in small numbers and in large... we've asked and we've asked again. But as it stands today, we have more cases of abuse, wandering-related deaths, seizure-related deaths, bankruptcies and divorce in our community than ever before. With the fatigue that comes from constant uphill battles, along with a gross lack of resources, we live in a permanent state of asking one question: How Much Longer?"

Eight ads have gone out over the last six weeks promoting the "How Much Longer" campaign. When asking the public to participate, NAA says, "Say yes only if you don't mind a little controversy. This campaign isn't warm and fuzzy and it's far from polite. It's edgy, sarcastic and harsh at times, but when you live day to day seeing an increasing number of children suffer from vulgar abuse, impossible challenges, even death, you tend to put graceful asks aside for a
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SOURCE National Autism Association
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