The Trump administration’s Child Psychiatry Education Plan for the U.S. is an “urgent and urgent matter,” the president’s official autism advocate, John Holzer, said Monday.
“This is an urgent and urgent issue,” Holzer told CNN in an exclusive interview.
“The idea of a system where a child is being forced to work in a place where they are not prepared to function, where they have no ability to function effectively is very disturbing.”
The plan aims to provide specialized support to children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, which is defined by the National Institutes of Health as a range of cognitive, language, social and communication difficulties.
Holzer said the proposed plan is a step in the right direction, but the administration is still reviewing it.
“We’re looking at a lot of the data that we’ve collected in the past and making sure that it’s accurate and we can’t make a mistake,” he said.
“That’s not going to happen.
But it’s a very serious issue.
And we’re taking it very seriously.”
Holzer, who was part of a team of experts that conducted the first draft of the plan, called the plan “a good idea,” but he added that it is “still a work in progress.”
“It’s a really good idea.
It’s a good starting point, but it’s not the end of the world,” Holzer said.”
I think it’s good to make sure we’re moving in the direction that is best for the children, but I think there are other things that need to be done,” he added.
Holzer said his team was also looking at how the plan would be implemented in the U:States with autism-related issues, like Texas and Florida, have already implemented programs like the one proposed in the proposal, but they are limited in scope.
He said a child would need to meet strict requirements to work at a school where he or she can communicate with the students, and they would also need to participate in a classroom environment where he/she can interact with other students.
“It will be a child who’s a high-functioning autistic child, who has some intellectual disabilities, who can’t understand the rules of a school environment,” Holzers said.
Holzers group is urging the Trump administration to consider creating an expanded, universal autism program.
“I would love to see this expanded.
I think it needs to be expanded to include all kids, regardless of what they might have in common,” he told CNN.
The autism advocacy group Autism Speaks has called for a new autism program for the United States, but Holzer says he would support a pilot program similar to the one the Trump Administration is looking to implement.
The plan would also cover students in foster care, but as of Monday, there was no timeline for when this would happen.
The proposal would also provide funding for training for school staff, and Holzer called it an important step to make certain that the students are being treated fairly.
“The problem is that these kids are being sent away and sent away in situations where they’re being mistreated and sent to these schools and then they’re not even treated the way that they should be,” he explained.
“So they’re put in this place where it’s really hard for them to communicate with teachers, and then their peers are sending them away, and we don’t have the same training that we do in other countries to make that transition.”
Holzers team is currently looking for more information about how the federal government will implement the plan.