Autism Speaks' Goals
Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks is an organization dedicated to serving the autism community in a number of ways. Autism Speaks' Goals The primary goal of Autism Speaks 'is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.' The organization is therefore dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism, and to raising public awareness about the disorder.
Fundraising is a necessary goal of the organization, but so is bringing together the autism community and providing a voice for those affected. Autism Speaks supports programs that ensure public health, and this includes a safe and effective immunization program in which the public can trust. Some of the questions Autism Speaks hopes to answer are: do vaccines have adverse effects that impact neurodevelopment; are common adverse effects more frequent now than before; and do subgroups of the general population exhibit more of these effects?
Recent Accomplishments In 2007, Autism Speaks committed $30 million in funding for research on the causes, prevention, treatments, and cures for autism, and raised over $81 million that led to a nationwide 14 percent increase in the general public's awareness of autism. Autism Speaks also launched an online family services resource guide and the Autism Video Glossary. Autism Speaks, along with an international consortium of researchers, government funding agencies, families, and philanthropists, launched the second phase of the Autism Genome Project (AGP) whose goal is to discover the genes that cause autism.
As a result of Autism Speaks' having co-sponsored 'Autism Speaks to the World,' the International Congress for Autism Research held in Mexico City, leading US and Mexican autism researchers are collaborating on a strategic plan for autism-related development in Mexico. Autism Speaks also made great strides in promoting awareness of autism, from their documentary 'Autism Every Day,' which premiered to a sold-out audience at the Sundance Film Festival, to having over 5 million Starbucks cups feature a quote from co-founder Bob Wright about autism awareness and the importance of early intervention.
Autism speaks also awarded family services community grants to build services for those affected by autism, helped secure funding for the Department of Defense Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Program, and has raised over $8 million through fundraising events.
Community Support Autism Speaks website has a selection of message boards where parents can exchange ideas and information with each other, and a wealth of family resource information. A newsletter, calendar of events, and online store offer outreach and connectedness for families affected by this disorder. For families dealing with autism, finding a community of like-minded individuals can be a valuable experience, and Autism Speaks is a wonderful place to start.
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