Gov. Corzine's latest proposal to strengthen services for people with autism has families and advocates cheering, but experts in the wider developmental-disabilities community fear New Jersey is headed toward a two-tiered system favoring one diagnosis.
"Whenever you have 1 in 94 people being affected by anything, you need to get some special attention," said Linda Meyer, executive director of the advocacy group Autism New Jersey.
Autism is a lifelong disability characterized by limits in social interaction and in verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual repetitive activities or severely limited interests.
At Autism New Jersey's annual convention last weekend, Corzine announced plans to open an Office of Autism Services within the state Department of Human Services, the top among 44 recommendations this month by New Jersey's Adults With Autism Task Force.