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Calls to Action

The Daily Brief

January 20, 2016

Amateur weather man on the autism spectrum tells people to ‘stay safe’ this weekend

Frankie MacDonald is at it again with another viral weather video! MacDonald who has autism is an amateur weatherman who recently talked about the blizzard that is heading toward Maryland this weekend. He says, “Take care, stay safe, don’t get caught in a massive blizzard for people living in Maryland. Stay warm and be safe. You can read more of MacDonald’s story here.

Missouri Gov proposes $5M to boost services at Thompson Autism Center

Funding to expand doctor training and children served at Thompson, one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network. Read more here

Expanding community training to address autism-related sleep issues

This Autism Speaks ATN center is developing a model program for training therapists to help families with autism-related sleep problems. Read more.

Autism Speaks names Angela Timashenka Geiger as President and CEO

“She is a visionary, with a history of leadership and a record of accomplishment in family services, supporting the field, driving revenue, and advancing science and advocacy priorities," said Autism Speaks Chairman of the Board Brian Kelly. Read more.

TRM basketball joins in autism awareness

The second annual Shooting 2 Change event is happening this week from Jan 17-23 where participating schools will show their support of autism by wearing special Shooting 2 Change t-shirts. The story here highlights the T.R. Miller basketball team in Brewton, Alabama. Read more about the initiative here

After The Diagnosis: How Families Experience Autism

Raising kids is rewarding and raising kids is hard. That work is compounded when you have a child with autism. And each of these families experiences the disorder differently. NPR hears from four families on their experiences following the diagnoses, the resources they found and help they still need. Listen to their stories at NPR.

Scholarship offered to students with autism in honor of Avonte Oquendo

One New York City law firm is looking to keep the memory of Avonte Oquendo — a teen with autism who went missing in 2013 and was later tragically found dead — alive by helping others. Read more.

Team Up! Meets the Challenge at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

As you would expect, the 2nd annual Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland gave runners the opportunity to dress as Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, Princess Leia, a Storm Trooper, a Jedi Knight, and even BB-8. Read more.

10 things I've learned in the decade since my son's autism diagnosis

For the first time ever it was official, written on his pediatric charts, used when charting his future educational course. It was the first time we ever used the word “autistic” to describe him to others, said the word out loud, tried it on for size. Read more.

How I stopped looking for the mile markers and let my son "drive"

Ahhh...the family road trip. When everyone gathers their devices, snacks, blankets and any other necessary items to keep us all sane while we spend 2.5 hours a closed space...all of us...with no escape. Read more.

Highlights and video from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

IACC hears public comment, discusses housing, universal screening, autism biomarkers and more. Read more.

Hillary Clinton announces new aut​ism plan

Autism Speaks urges all the presidential candidates to come forward with a plan to address the needs of people living with autism. We have provided a blueprint that Autism Speaks believes is essential to good public policy. A national plan should be built around enhanced state and federal advocacy, groundbreaking advances in science and research, and a full discussion of the barriers to, and opportunities for, addressing the housing, transition and employment needs of those with autism. 

Why has this grade schooler with autism started whispering?

“Our 11 year old son is a minimally verbal boy on the autism spectrum. He can say a few words including ‘papa’ and ‘mama.’ But in the last year, he suddenly started only whispering or mouthing these words. I can see his lips move. But very seldom can we get him to speak loud enough for people to hear. Otherwise, he seems to be developing quite well. Why is this happening? Can anybody help?” Read our expert's advice.

Watch this dad have a conversation with his nonverbal son with autism



This video was shared with us by Shawn Garan, a father of a son with autism. He shared this touching video of a conversation with his nonverbal son, Max. Watch it below. You can read more about their story via a blog from Garan here