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Former Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni Appointed to Illinois Autism Task Force

As a father of a child with autism, DiCianni approaches the committee assignment "from a unique perspective," he said.

DuPage County Commissioner Pete DiCianni, former Elmhurst mayor, was appointed to the Illinois Autism Task Force, according to a press release from DiCianni's office. 

The task force was commissioned in 2005 to coordinate services, oversee policy making and clinical trials, and serve as a clearinghouse of information for people with autism. It is made up of lawmakers, doctors and health care professionals, education professionals and those performing clinical trials.

The task force early on passed along the recommendation that those with autism be insured in the same manner as citizens with any other medical condition. DiCianni saw this need back in 2006, when his then 3-year-old daughter Brianna was diagnosed with autism. Autism affects one in every 88 children born today, DiCianni said. He authored SB 1900 (Brianna's Law) in 2008, which had 133 legislative sponsors in Springfield. Brianna’s Law has now been adopted in 33 states and serves as a national model, according to the press release.

He also drafted legislation regarding education, public safety, training and health care, including James Law in 2010 and the Autism Protection Act of 2011. James Law provides for GPS bracelet locators for persons with cognitive impairement. The bracelets call 911 to find people who may have wandered away. The Autism Protection Act grandfathers diagnosis and health care access to the more than 20,000 children with autism in Illinois who had faced potential loss or change in diagnosis from the federal DSM 5 changes.

“I am honored to serve the state of Illinois and, more importantly, the people who are dealing with this epidemic of autism," DiCianni said in a prepared statement. "As someone who has changed policy for many already, I look forward to doing even more to deal with this public health crisis. I think as both a father and a policy maker, I approach this from a unique perspective and I’m hear to be the voice of the people with this debilitating condition.” 

Source: DuPage County Commissioner Pete DiCianni's office

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