TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — President Trump signed a five-year extension of the Autism CARES Act earlier this month. The bill will allocate approximately 1.8 billion dollars in funding towards autism services.

According to the CDC, one in 59 children is identified as falling somewhere on the autism spectrum. This number has been increasing every year.

The Autism CARES Act was originally signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006 under the Combating Autism Act, it was later renamed. The Act provides funding for autism research as well as proper training for medical professionals.

“That is a big shortage in Kansas and across the nation,” said Sandy Crawford, Vice President of Pediatric Services at the Capper Foundation. “There are just not enough providers to see, especially children, who have been diagnosed with autism.”

The funding over the years has led to better detection and diagnosis of autism at early ages which, according to Crawford, is essential for the best possible treatment.

“It’s always helpful to know how you’re dealing with it, how extensive the autism is going to be, what the level of abilities and disabilities will be, and that can always help with the child and the therapies they are going to get in the future,” said Crawford.

The Autism CARES Act will also provide grants to individuals and families with autism. The Act was reinstated until 2024.

For more information about the Capper Foundation, click here.