This holiday season, help give our families the greatest gift of all - outstanding science research.
Like many autism parents, I spent a lot of time on the internet when my son Andrew (now 22) was first diagnosed, seeking answers to the questions that kept me awake at night. What caused Andrew's autism (was it my fault)? What could we do to help him? How would his autism affect his life and our family's life now and in the future?
While I was grateful to have the internet alleviate some of the isolation I felt, there was so much confusing hype and infighting about cures and treatments. What I really wanted was evidence-based information that could help me understand my son's challenges and plan for his future.
Then I read about Alison Singer who had recently founded the Autism Science Foundation. I thought she was smart and brave (given the charged atmosphere in the autism world at that time) and that ASF was an organization that was worthy of support. My husband Barry and I reached out to her and soon thereafter Barry organized several motorcycle rides to raise funds to support ASF, and I volunteered to help with the launch of the Autism BrainNet. We've been fans and supporters of ASF ever since, and while there are so many reasons to support ASF, here's our top ten list:
Top Ten Reasons to Support ASF -
- ASF funds research by scientists from the undergraduate level through post-doctoral fellowship to encourage talented scientists to pursue autism research.
- ASF-funded research addresses a broad range of topics, from genetics and brain research to education, employment, housing and other lifespan issues.
- ASF facilitates scientific collaboration through the Autism BrainNet, the Autism Sisters Project and the Baby Siblings Research Consortium.
- ASF produces weekly podcasts with the amazing Dr. Alycia Halladay on the latest studies and issues affecting people with autism.
- ASF staff and volunteers work around the country at conferences and walks to share information about new findings and recruit individuals to participate in scientific studies.
- The ASF Day of Learning (now on both coasts!) brings scientists and families together to discuss the latest advances in autism research, and it gets better every year.
- The ASF website and social media platforms provide information about evidence-based treatments, links to on-going studies, and resources for individuals and families.
- ASF has received Top-Rated Nonprofit status by GreatNonprofits for seven consecutive years. ASF also has top ratings from GuideStar. Donations are used very effectively and the organization has a very low overhead cost, allowing almost 100% of each donation to be used to support ASF's mission.
- ASF's Alison Singer and Alycia Halladay speak out boldly and often about the controversies within the autism community and advocate tirelessly to help individuals across the autism spectrum.
- Our son Andrew, our family, and coming generations will benefit from the research that ASF supports.
Please join with my family and support ASF by making a generous donation this holiday season.
With thanks and appreciation,