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Calls to Action

The Weekend Brief

January 23, 2016

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.

Advice on helping grade schooler with autism hold a pencil and write

This week’s ‘Got Questions’ column looks at the question presented by a parent who has an 8-year-old son with autism that can’t write but only grips the pen to scribble. Our experts discuss how pre-writing skills may be the key to helping him. Read more 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.