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Announcement of Future Autism Speaks Funding Initiative

NEW YORK (April 27, 2006) - Autism Speaks is committed to facilitating research that will uncover the causes of autism, develop effective treatments, and hasten the discovery of a cure.

As part of its overall funding agenda, Autism Speaks is developing a funding supplement mechanism designed to further support all areas of research on autism spectrum disorders. The purpose of the research supplement is to expand the scope of existing NIH and CDC-funded research projects. The additional funds should be used to enhance the scientific value of the overall endeavor. Examples include but are not limited to funding a new specific aim for an individual research grant or funding an additional project for a program project grant. The specifications and timing of the supplement mechanism are under development and will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2006.


Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 166 children, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of the growing autism epidemic and to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for a cure. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric, and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) recently combined operations, bringing together two of the leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism spectrum disorders; to increasing awareness of autism, the nation's fastest growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, visit