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Calls to Action

The Daily Brief

February 24, 2016

Send in your idea for the Autism Speaks House to Home Prize

Currently, 81% of adults with autism live with their aging parents. While there are many organizations and alliances dedicated to making the search for housing and community living easier, a major breakthrough that meets the escalating demand for homes and supports for those with autism is needed. Autism Speaks is sponsoring the Autism Speaks House to Home Prize to bring about this breakthrough. Learn more and participate in the challenge here.

Your ATN@Work: Exploring the links between autism, sleep and behavior

Researchers at Missouri’s Thompson Center explore the association between autism-related sleep disturbances and daytime behavior challenges. Read more here.

Job placement service for adults with disabilities, LaunchAbility, featured on CBS DFW

LaunchAbility is a job-placement service for underserved and overlooked adults with cognitive disabilities who not only desire to join the workforce but, with guidance and training, are more than able to do so. Watch the interview with CBS DFW here.

Scholarship funds awarded to ten postsecondary programs

Autism Speaks is proud to award $155,000 to 10 postsecondary institutions through the third annual Brian and Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarship Fund, which is designed to provide funding and educational opportunities after high school for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Funds were awarded to four-year colleges, two-year colleges, vocational programs and transition programs. Read more here.

Paul Shattuck, a member of Autism Speaks' Family Services Committee, to direct new Drexel Autism Institute program for adults with autism

A $3.5 million grant to the the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University will allow it to become an innovation incubator for pilot programs to prevent young adults on the spectrum from falling through the cracks after high school. Named “Transition Pathways,” the demonstration programs will help high school seniors and recent graduates on the cusp of living or working independently. Read more here.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend a Success

Team Up! with Autism Speaks had 83 participants in the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, with many of them in Princess costumes. On race weekend the runners met up for a fantastic buffet-style dinner at the Coronado Springs Convention Center with their teammates, as well their families and friends. Read more here.

3rd grader with autism nails every Michael Jackson dance move during talent show

Jonah Jacomet is a third grader whose talent show video, dancing to Michael Jackson, is going viral online. Read more and watch his dance moves here.

Ontario teen with autism is go-kart racing sensation, teaches others about acceptance

Austin Riley has autism, and although he can’t tie his shoe laces or cut up his food, he soars on the go-kart track. Austin is a champion well known in go-kart racing circles with a unique story. Read more

Northern Trust adds insurance coverage for autism-related therapies

Companies Making A Difference" is an Autism Speaks web series that recognizes businesses who are taking steps to better support the autism community within their companies. Read more here.

Jacob Velazquez Performs Pop Medley at New York Chef Gala 

Jacob Velazquez, a 7-year-old boy with autism who is a piano prodigy and one of Taylor Swift's #1 fans composed a beautiful medley that helped him meet the pop star. Jacob’s mother Tina recently shared a video with us about Jacob’s love for Swift and how he performed a medley of her songs from her most recent album “1989.”  Read more about how Jacob got to meet his idol here.