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e-Speaks || January 7, 2011

Annual Letter from the Chief Science Officer

Geri DawsonIn her annual letter, Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D. looks at autism science in 2010. In the letter, you'll find recaps of major breakthoughs, many of which were funded by grants and projects that you helped to support.

Autism Speaks Approves more than $500,000 in Family Services Community Grants

Autism Speaks' Board of Directors approved more than $500,000 in funding for 24 new Family Services Community Grants. These grants will help community organizations across the country expand existing programs and create new programs that improve and enrich the lives of individuals with autism. Read a summary of the funded programs. Autism Speaks Canada announced its first round of community grants in November 2010.

New Year, New Autism Insurance Reform Laws in Effect

The change of the calendar year marks another pivotal step forward in the effort to pass meaningful autism insurance reform nationwide, as several state autism insurance laws went into effect on January 1, 2011. Read more about the new laws and visit for the latest advocacy news.

Autism Speaks Appoints Tim Jones and David M. Wittels to Board of Directors

Autism Speaks announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors, Tim Jones, CEO of ZenithOptimedia North America, and David M. Wittels, Senior Managing Director, Diamond Castle Holdings. Bob Wright, chairman of the board and co-founder of Autism Speaks, announced the appointments during a recent board meeting.

Autism Connects Design Competition Launched

Autism Speaks' Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative has teamed up with design network Core77 to produce “Autism Connects,” a student technology and design competition around the themes of autism and communication. The purpose of the competition is to encourage design students to develop technology solutions that can help individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to better connect with the world around them, and to allow individuals who do not have ASD to better understand and connect with those who do.

Autism Speaks and the CDC Announce Workshop

Autism Speaks and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are co-sponsoring a workshop on February 1 to investigate the changes in autism prevalence over time in the U.S. The meeting is open to the public with pre-registration required by January 24, 2011 for U.S. citizens and January 13 for non-U.S. citizens. 

This Week on the Autism Speaks Blog

Check out this week's top posts and subscribe to the Autism Speaks Blog to receive an e-mail containing the day's stories.

In Their Own Words: My Prayer

In this week's “In Their Own Words,” Karen Weaver shares her prayer for Red, her fifteen-year-old son with Asperger Syndrome.