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Calls to Action

Professional Golfer Els to Bring Awareness to Son's Autism

Golfer Ernie Els, whose 5-year-old son has been diagnosed with with autism, showed up on Professional Golf Association Tour this week with an "Autism Speaks" logo on his golf bag and a message he wanted to get out. Els and his wife coped with his son's diagnosis privately for a number of years, but he is now preparing to raise money and awareness for autism..

"I feel comfortable talking about it now," Els told The Associated Press after he missed the cut Friday in the PODS Championship. "I've got a bit of a profile where it will grab attention. That's what this problem needs. And with that, hopefully, more people will get involved and we can start getting to what causes it and what can be done to help it."

Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks in New York, was thrilled to have the 38-year-old South African speak out. "It's very important having prominent people get out in front of this issue," Wright said. "It's hard to get people to do that. Having Ernie, somebody who is prominent all over the world, to get out here is immensely helpful."

Read more from The Associated Press.