A special committee looking at what the state of Missouri can do to help those with Pervasive Development Disorder finalizes its recommendations later today. Most of us know PDD by a more common name.

The special legislative committee has spent about five months learning about Autism, a disorder that the Centers for Disease Control says affects one in every 150 Americans.

The committee says three state agencies have programs for children and adults who are autistic. Committee chairman Scott Rupp sys the state has been capable of providing services in certain situations but other things have not worked well. Rupp says his committee has looked at both extremes.

He says everything is in place to build a stronger state Autism program and to develop longer-term goals for the program. Rupp, a State Senator from Wentzville, says the state needs a systematic approach of early childhood approach, parental training, school age programs, and then adult services and life-span care.

He says the panel will have short-term goals that can be achieved immediately. But longer-term goals will take more money and more study of best-practice models before programs to reach them can be developed.


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