Christie Vows To Fight For N.J. Children With Autism

autismGov. Chris Christie visited a developmentally disabled therapeutic center in Warren Township today in honor of World Autism Awareness Day and pledged to improve the partnership between the public and private sectors to aid children with autism. “We should be the leader in the country of how the public and private sectors work together to better the level of education for these children,” Christie told parents at the Child Centered Therapeutics on Stirling Road. “There are a lot of people in the dark out there looking for the light switch and we need to help them.” Last week, Christie announced that his budget would include funds for programs for developmentally disabled 21-year-olds who will “age out” of their school programs this year.

New Jersey has the most autism cases of any state in the country and Christie said increasing access to services for children with the developmental disorder is a priority.

Christie said more needs to be done to bolster the marriage between public services and private services in the state.

“I think that these parents have opportunities in the private sector that is unfortunately more developed than the public sector at this point,” he said.

Robert Dearey, founder and president of Child Centered Therapeutics, said he was “ecstatic” with the governor’s visit and agreed with pushing for schools to make stronger partnerships with privately-owned organizations offering services to parents.

“I work in the school districts as well as with Child Centered Therapeutics so I wear two hats,” Dearey said. “I absolutely think there should be more congruency between the two.” Star Ledger.

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