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Calls to Action

Autism Sunday February 8th

Nantucket Autism Speaks Resource Center
News and Press Releases For more information, contact:
Kim Horyn, Director
Nantucket Autism Speaks Resource Center


Autism Sunday February 8th

World leaders and worship leaders around the globe are urged to speak out on autism February 8th, the first ever Autism Sunday, which is the International Day of Prayer for those impacted by this disorder.

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 150 children in the United States, 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. Some liken this crisis to the polio epidemic of the 1950s.

In preparation for Autism Sunday, Autism Speaks, the nation's largest advocacy organization for individuals and families impacted by autism has posted an Autism Sunday Tool Kit on its website, The Tool Kit includes a list of resources that families and faith leaders may find helpful, as well as some suggestions to create awareness and further celebrate this special day. The hope is to help others better understand how autism impacts individuals, especially since this disorder is perceived as a behavioral issue rather thana  neurological disorder that may result in extreme behaviors. It is also hoped that all families affected by autism may be welcomed in their house of worship and become active participants in their faith community.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, and treatments for autism and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright was formerly Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chairman and chief executive officer of NBC Universal for more than 20 years.

After the success of the first annual Walk Now for Autism on Nantucket, the Wrights wanted to give back to the island, and the Nantucket Autism Speaks Resource Center was established. The mission of the Resource Center is to provide current information and comprehensive resources for families, professionals and the community for the purpose of educating and increasing awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Resource Center is dedicated to empowering families and individuals impacted by autism to make informed decisions by providing resource information that covers all aspects of autism and ASD from birth through adult care.

 •Plans are currently underway for the 2009 Nantucket Walk. The Nantucket Walk for Autism is scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd. Community members are invited to join the Walk and convene a team and can register soon at
For more information, please visit, or contact Kim Horyn, Nantucket Autism Speaks Resource Center Director, at,