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Autism Speaks and Grasp to Exchange "Articles of Understanding"

Two Leading Autism Organizations Will Post Articles Online in an Effort to Foster a Respectful and Productive Dialogue About Their Differing Viewpoints

(NEW YORK, NY – May 17, 2006) – Autism Speaks and GRASP (the Global Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership) will pen articles for each other's web sites in an effort to create a substantive and mutually respectful dialogue about why they differ on using the word "cure" in relation to autism, the two organizations announced today. The articles, which will be written by Autism Speaks Senior Vice President Alison Tepper Singer and GRASP Executive Director Michael John Carley, will appear online later this spring and present the organizations' differing viewpoints on this specific issue. Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research, uses the term "cure" in its discussions about autism spectrum disorders while GRASP, the largest organization of adults diagnosed along the autism spectrum, does not.

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


GRASP, the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, is an educational and advocacy organization run by and for adult individuals on the autism spectrum. As per their bylaws, 50% of their Board of Directors, 100% of their Advisory Board, and the Executive Director must be diagnosed along the spectrum with either Asperger Syndrome, PDD, or Autism. Begun in 2003, GRASP planned on expanding nationally by its 7th year, but due to the immense need for shared experience did so by its second year. GRASP already has 12 regional networks stretching from Iowa and Virginia to CT, with many more planned; performing outreach, advocacy, and intervention through the peer-run support networks it runs. It is the largest incorporated organization in the world comprised of adults on the autism spectrum. To learn more about GRASP, visit