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Calls to Action

Coaches Powering Forward for Autism

NCAA Awareness and Acceptance Weekend 

February 3-5, 2017

Show your support for the 1 in 68 children on the autism spectrum by wearing the Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin


It all started with a simple request by two NCAA Coaches “Wear the Autism Speaks pin during your February game”  

Coaches Powering Forward for Autism was created in 2014 after NCAA Coaches Pat Skerry and Tom Herrion embarked on a mission to raise awareness of autism.

Inspired by their sons, both diagnosed with autism, they made a simple request to fellow coaches — Wear the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece pin during televised games the first weekend of February.  In an overwhelming response, more than 82 NCAA coaches and broadcasters took to the sidelines and airwaves throughout the weekend wearing the puzzle pin.

The support in 2016 soared to nearly 300 coaches and their staffs supporting individuals living with autism through the Coaches Powering Forward for Autism campaign.

The 2017 goal is to continue to grow this initiative to include all Division I men’s and women’s programs,  along with other divisions, to provide basketball coaches, their teams and staff an even greater opportunity to help increase awareness and acceptance while advocating for the needs of families and individuals affected by autism.

To get free Autism Speaks pins for your coaching staff, REGISTER today.

Questions?  Contact


Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. An estimated 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum.


Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorderand related conditions. We empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. To find resources, join a fundraising walk or make a donation, go to