Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Legislative Update: North Carolina

Today the Joint Study Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorder, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and First Responders met at the General Assembly. This was the first committee meeting of the legislative break. Dr. Gary Mesibov presented an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder including a look at the history of diagnosing this disorder.

When asked about prevalence rates in North Carolina, Dr. Mesibov stated that we meet the national average of 1 in 150 births. The national average was based on an epidemiological study of eight year olds in 14 states including North Carolina.

As this committee progresses with its work it is critical to understand that all people with developmental and cognitive disabilities face communication barriers when interacting with law enforcement and the judicial system. The findings from this committee could prove to be an important policy directive to cover the broader disability community.

Sen. William Robert Purcell, MD (Co-Chair)
Sen. Thomas M. Apodaca
Sen. James Summers Forrester
Sen. John J. Snow, Jr.
Ms. Mary Jo Croom (Public Member)
Hon. George Wayne Goodwin (Public Member)
Ms. Claire Greer (Public Member)
Ms. Norma Houston (Public Member)
Ms. Susan K. McLean (Public Member)
Ms. Tracy McPherson (Public Member)
Mr. W. David Munday (Public Member)
Dr. Michael C. Teague (Public Member)
Rep. Bob F. England, MD (Co-Chair)
Rep. Martha Bedell Alexander
Rep. Earline W. Parmon
Rep. Karen B. Ray
Mr. Frederick L. Bone (Public Member)
Mr. Edmund W. Caldwell, Jr. (Public Member)
Chief William Farley (Public Member)
Ms. Marsha Davis Jones (Public Member)
Dr. Gary Mesibov, PhD (Public Member)
Hon. Edd Nye (Public Member)
Hon. Kimberly S. Taylor (Public Member)
Ms. Elizabeth H Thompson (Public Member

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interested to hear about the work of this committee. Am the guardian representative of an elderly man with mild mental retardation who was given a citation for selling little trinkets in public without a license....he does not read, forgot to appear in court and guardian had to post a bond to keep him out of jail. He has another court date set. Guardian was not allowed to accompany ward before the Magistrate judge when bond was posted. Tough situation in educating law enforcement and seeing this elderly man go through this stressful ordeal.