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Sen. Chuck Schumer calls for four specific witnesses in Senate impeachment trial; giving Iowans with disabilities a voice in caucuses; and an expert says Seasonal Affective Disorder is a lot more than just the holiday blues.

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Sen. Cory Booker led the charge asking the DNC to ease up debate qualification requirements. All seven candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate say they won't participate in the debate at Loyola Marymount in LA if it means crossing the picket line of Unite Here Local 11.

MO to "Light It Up Blue" for Autism

PHOTO: Missouri homes and businesses will once again "Light It Up Blue" for autism awareness on Wednesday. Seen here, the St. Louis Central Library fountain in 2013. Photo courtesy of Autism Speaks St. Louis.
PHOTO: Missouri homes and businesses will once again "Light It Up Blue" for autism awareness on Wednesday. Seen here, the St. Louis Central Library fountain in 2013. Photo courtesy of Autism Speaks St. Louis.
April 1, 2014

ST. LOUIS - One American child in 68 now has autism, a 30 percent increase from just two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are working to raise awareness of the disorder say now is the time for action on a national level.

According to Angela Dettmers, executive director of the St. Louis chapter of Autism Speaks, Missouri has made big strides in autism awareness, treatments, and family services, and the next big steps need to come from Washington.

"We need a national strategy for autism - because autism, the prevalence, continues to grow," she stated. "So, it brings together research, education and then policy, so we can help the growing need."

Dettmers says Missouri should be proud of the efforts it has made as a state to provide high-quality treatment for families dealing with autism spectrum disorders, and to make those services more affordable.

"The state of Missouri passed autism insurance reform in 2010 and it came into effect in 2011, which is important because autism costs a family $60,000, or more, a year," she said.

The CDC puts the prevalence of autism in Missouri very close to the national average, at roughly one in 70 kids.

Wednesday is World Autism Awareness Day, and many Missouri businesses and homes will be lit up in blue to mark the occasion. Home Depot is once again offering blue light bulbs with a portion of each sale going to autism research.

More information is online at AutismSpeaks.org.

The CDC study is at 1.usa.gov/19KrlMj.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO