ASD Law enacted by President Gabriel Boric: these are the details
The new regulations promote the inclusion, comprehensive care and protection of rights of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
President Gabriel Boric has enacted the long-awaited ASD Law in the company of government authorities and parliamentarians. The law ensures the right to equal opportunities and safeguards the social inclusion of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), eliminating any form of discrimination.
The new regulations also promote a comprehensive approach to people with ASD in the social, health and education fields, and raise awareness of this issue in society, without prejudicing the rights, benefits or guarantees contemplated in other legal or regulatory bodies and in existing international treaties ratified by Chile.
According to Health Minister Ximena Aguilera, “the Government is fulfilling the commitment established by President Gabriel Boric with organizations and, especially, with families and people who live with autism spectrum disorder.”
She added that the law “includes all people, throughout their lives. We are certain that executing the necessary actions in a timely manner will not only improve the lives of children and adolescents with ASD, but also their families, by reducing the expenses involved in health care. However, we also know that, historically, ASD in adults has been made invisible and, with it, the valid need for diagnosis and subsequent support. With this law, we make ASD visible in adults and, with actions as significant as providing access to diagnosis in adults, we hope to end stigma and discrimination.”
“This law includes all people, throughout their lives. We are certain that executing the necessary actions in a timely manner will not only improve the lives of children and adolescents with ASD, but also their families,” Ximena Aguilera, Health Minister.
Fundamental areas of the law
- A network of services will be progressively developed to carry out screening, diagnosis and specific care for ASD in children, adolescents and adults (life course).
- It will be financed through the specific budget assigned to this law, and that contemplated annually in the general budget law. Access to these actions will be developed and promoted considering attributes such as comprehensiveness, interdisciplinarity and opportunity.
- The Health Ministry will evaluate the incorporation of health benefits associated with the care of people with ASD during the next procedure for preparing Explicit Health Guarantees (GES).
- The Health Ministry is committed to making real progress in implementing this law, in line with the fourth transitory article.
- The State undertakes to advance in determining ASD prevalence in Chile, by incorporating it into surveys and/or population studies that are pertinent methodologically, starting with its inclusion in the Health Ministry’s first National Child Health Study (ENSI – MINSAL).
Social Development and Family Minister Giorgio Jackson emphasized three aspects of the new regulations: “Firstly, we have established early detection in childhood. It had been a very important desire of ours to establish this as a principle of law. Also, within the legislation, there was a commitment by the Social Development Ministry, through Chile Grows with You (Chile Crece Contigo), to provide children with augmentative communication tools.”
He added, “in second place, the issue of institutional structure, because it establishes the intersectoriality of the State as a principle. We know that many of the policies required to address children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder need an intersectoral approach. And in third place, we have incorporated one of the matters related to caregivers with a gender focus, which is fundamental to our government.”