(July 20, 2014) -- "I've seen the challenges, frustration, heartbreak, and successes of autism up close," said Willie Guest, father of two and host of the Today Show and Morning Joe, told a packed crowd at the Dreamland Theater in Nantucket, Massachusetts Sunday. "These days most of us do," he added, referring to the recent autism prevalence numbers.
More than 100-people gathered for the 8th Annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks Kick-off Celebration to listen to a serious discussion about the Autism Speaks–Google collaboration on the Autism 10K Genomes Project, as well as the study of brain inflammation in autism and the critical issue of adults living with autism.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Chris McDougle, Director of the Lurie Center for Autism in Boston and the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, told the crowd autism parents don’t have time for long-term studies. They need research with real applicable results now. And so, he is working on several big impact projects with some of the best and brightest researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, including work on brain inflammation in people with autism and imaging the brains of non-verbal adults with autism.
The crowd warmly received and asked a lot of questions during a panel discussion following a preview of the new documentary “Sounding the Alarm.” The film is now available on Netflix, and will be available on Amazon Prime and iTunes soon. The 8th Annual Nantucket Walk Now for Autism Speaks event is on Saturday, August 16, 2014.
[slideshow:2, order=top, width=600, height=440, img=|/sites/default/files/images/nantucket_3.jpg||| Left to right: Bob Wright\, Debby St. Pierre\, Suzanne Wright\, Willie Geist\, Bruce and Ann Benedict and Christina Geist||, img=|/sites/default/files/images/nantucket_2.jpg|||Co-Founder of Autism Speaks Bob Wright talks about our Google collaboration||, img=|/sites/default/files/images/nantucket_1.jpg|||Keynote Speaker Dr. Chris McDougle talks about the need for autism research now ||, img=| /sites/default/files/images/nantucket_4.jpg||| Left to right: Dr. Chris McDougle\, President of Autism Speaks Liz Feld\, Co-Founders of Autism Speaks Bob and Suzanne Wright and Today Show Host Willie Geist||, img=| /sites/default/files/images/nantucket_5.jpg||| Co-Founder of Autism Speaks Suzanne Wright speaks||,]