About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
- Autism Speaks has committed an unprecedented $142.5 million in new research funding, through 2014, to uncover the cause(s), prevention, treatments and cure for autism, making it the nation's top private funder of autism research.
- Autism Speaks' public service announcement campaign, produced with the Ad Council, garnered over $210 million in donated media and led to a nationwide 14 percentage point increase in autism awareness by the general public.
- In 2007, Autism Speaks completed its merger with Cure Autism Now, a family-founded, autism advocacy group based in Los Angeles. In 2006 Autism Speaks merged with the National Alliance for Autism Research. Autism Speaks is now the nation's largest autism advocacy organization.
- Autism Speaks funded researchers reported major scientific findings in the areas of etiology, biology, treatment and diagnosis.
- The Autism Speaks Clinical Trials Network (CTN) commenced its first industry-sponsored clinical trial, the Study of Fluoxetine in Autism (SOFIA) with UK-based Neuropharm Group Plc. The study will include more than 100 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
- An $8 million grant from the NIH will enable the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) to expand significantly in 2008.
- Autism Speaks launched a Facebook community which now has more than 104,000 active fans, who are not only sharing information but getting advice and support from other members. Additionally, more than 120,000 people belong to other Autism Speaks-led Facebook communities, including ones for local Walks, advocacy, Young Professionals and college students. More than 1 million people belong to Causes which raise money on Facebook in support of Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks also has more than 5,000 fans on Twitter.
- As part of its efforts to create a compassionate community for all those affected by autism, Autism Speaks collaborated with writers from television shows, “The Guiding Light,” “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospitals: Night Shift,” to develop story lines.
- Autism Speaks launched the 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families.
- Light it Up Blue-On the night of April 1, over 1,400 prominent buildings across North America and the world including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada were lit up blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on Friday, April 2.
- Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism Speaks events, with national sponsor Toys“R”Us/Babies”R”Us, raised over $24.5 million in 80 walks throughout the U.S., as well as in the United Kingdom and Canada. Over 320,000 people participated in walks.
- Autism Speaks hosted special fundraising events including concerts, celebrity golf tournaments, star-studded gala dinners, sporting events, motorcycle rides and more, raising over $4.1 million.
- Autism Speaks ran in-store promotional/fundraising events as a part of April's autism awareness month with Toys“R”Us, TJ Maxx, Modell's Sporting Goods, Lindt Chocolatier, Zale’s, Casey’s General Stores, Dollar General and Build-A-Bear Workshop, raising over $3.5m.
We are proud of what we've been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead.