Hillary Clinton has presented concrete plans, proposing an autism initiative that includes screening, diagnosis and treatment; safety and legal protections for individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan; steps to ensure they are treated with dignity; partnerships to help people with autism get and keep jobs; changes in the tax code and social security system to benefit family and non-family caregivers; respite support for families and caregivers; and a commitment to increase research funding to deepen our understanding of autism. She is aware of the importance of insurance coverage and is determined to continue and improve the Affordable Care Act, including creating a public option to compete with private insurance companies. She has concrete plans for dealing with safety problems students with autism face at the hands of peers and adults in school as well as plans for assisting law enforcement in dealing safely with behaviors associated with autism. Her plan demonstrates input from people affected by autism at various points in the lifespan, and she has responded to criticism not by backing away from a political “hot potato” but by digging in and getting to work.
Trump has said little about autism, and what he has said appears to have come from one or a few personal encounters rather than any systematic attempt to understand issues. He proposes allowing barebones insurance plans sold by out-of-state companies rather than requiring that plans be comprehensive and cover conditions like autism. He proposes relying on Health Savings Accounts, even though it is unrealistic to expect people with autism or their families to save enough money for care no matter how favorable the tax treatment is. He has addressed autism not with thoughts about how to include and educate people with autism in our communities, but solely by blaming vaccines. [source] At the same time, he proposes sharp deregulation of industry, agriculture, and food distribution that would result in greatly increased exposures to hazardous chemicals during gestation as well as after birth, as well as drastic cutbacks in the federal role in education funding and oversight.