NEW YORK (March 23, 2006) - Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright will join members of the military and autism communities for a special autism awareness and fundraising event on Saturday, March 25 at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Edinburg, IN. Wright will speak about the need for increased funding to support families affected by autism and other disabilities. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research.
In addition to Wright, Capt. Brian Alverson, the event's organizer and the father of a child with autism, will speak about the impact autism has on military families. Shelley Hendrix Reynolds of Unlocking Autism will discuss the ongoing efforts of Autism Cares, a consortium of leading autism organizations that has spearheaded a national emergency relief and recovery initiative on behalf of families affected by autism in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The day's festivities will also include a fundraising walk and silent auction. All proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks, Autism Cares and the Verbal Behavior Center for Autism (VBCA) in Fishers, IN. VBCA is a not-for-profit center founded by a grassroots movement of parents with autistic children who saw only very limited options to treat their children. The VBCA provides therapeutic services to children and families impacted by autism by promoting Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles and, specifically, verbal behavior therapy techniques.
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.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
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 the nation's fastest growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.