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Calls to Action

The Daily Brief

January 21, 2016

Cheerleading team "Sparkles" with inclusion

A New Jersey high school cheerleading team recently transformed into an inclusive squad, to include both students with and without disabilities. Seven new members, called the Sparkles, range in disabilities from Down syndrome to autism spectrum disorders. Read more here

Candy's art inspires people around the world

Candace, aka Candy, is 15 years old and has autism. Candy is nonverbal, but is able to express herself through her paintings. Candy's art has inspired people and raised autism awareness around the world, and has been featured in countless news articles and publications. Read more about her art here

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lawrence Brownlee, opera singer and autism dad 



Lawrence Brownlee is a world-leading opera singer, recently nominated for “Male Singer of the Year” by the International Opera Awards, and father to Caleb, who has autism.