Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.
Next 10 Vision
Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Recognizing the need for a powerful voice Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Building upon the legacy of three leading autism organizations, Autism Coalition for Research and Education (ACRE), the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), who merged with the organization, Autism Speaks has made extraordinary advancements in the autism community. Chief among these are 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 causes and better treatments for autism spectrum disorders and related conditions both through direct funding and collaboration; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders; and working toward solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families across the spectrum and lifespan through advocacy and support.
To accomplish this, Autism Speaks will relentlessly pursue strategies that make significant progress toward the following outcomes over the next 10 years:
- A better understanding of the causes and typology of ASD
- Children with an autism spectrum disorder being diagnosed before the age of 2
- Children having access to appropriate intervention, services and resources immediately following diagnosis
- The availability of better treatments both for underlying pathology as well as co-existing conditions that decrease quality of life for those with autism
- 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
These goals can only be achieved through work in communities nationwide, at the federal level and globally by working with partners, governments and other organizations. It will require an inclusive approach that values diversity and individual needs. We will work in partnership with those who share our goals, ambitions, and values.
It is clear that the mission of Autism Speaks will require the organization to grow in new ways and build capacity to be a sustaining organization to accelerate progress in science and support individuals with autism and their families over a lifetime. This will require investment in people, infrastructure and process in order to operate as a best in class non-profit organization.