Autism Speaks is a group that advocates for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. When there is increased understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder, better research into causes, and better interventions for autism – the world begins to be a better place.
Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, who were the grandparents of a child with autism. Recognizing the need for a powerful voice Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Autism Speaks has made advancements in the autism community, including increased global awareness of autism, better understanding of the breadth of the autism spectrum, and advocacy to increase research and access to care and support.
Today, Autism Speaks is dedicated to advancing research into the causes of autism, better treatments for autism spectrum disorders and related conditions both through direct funding and collaboration; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders; as well as finding solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support.
Autism Speaks plans to do the the following over the next 10 years:
- Seek a better understanding of the causes of ASD
- Helping children with an autism spectrum disorder being diagnosed before the age of 2
- Increase the access to appropriate intervention, services and resources immediately following diagnosis
- Looking for the availability of better treatments both for the underlying pathology as well as co-existing conditions that decrease quality of life for those with autism
- Help people with ASD and their families have transition plans that result in more independent adult life that is meaningful to the individual
- Individuals with ASD will have effective interventions, services and supports throughout their lifetime
By working with communities nationwide, at the federal level and globally, governments and other organizations – Autism Speaks wants to be a sustaining organization to support individuals and families over a lifetime.