On Monday, May 19th, Janet Dean, MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism addressed the crowd attending the annual Autism Speaks House of Commons reception. Dean spoke briefly of Autism Speaks UK's efforts to raise awareness and affect change in Parliament. She cited the introduction of the first UK autism prevalence study and talked of a national strategy for adults with autism.
Autism Speaks UK Chief Executive Hilary Gilfoy noted how much has changed in the few years since the inception of Autism Speaks UK. “It is due to the efforts of families who are demanding answers and then raising funds to find them that we have come so far,” said Gilfoy. She highlighted the great strides being made in research around the world and in the UK, including the breakthroughs achieved by the Baby Siblings Research Consortium and the Autism Genome Project. Gilfoy's overall message to the crowd was one of hope. “Only two years ago, the honest answer to the question 'What causes
from left, Glenn Tringali, EVP Fundraising and Development, Autism Speaks US; Hilary Gilfoy, Chief Executive, Autism Speaks UK; Mark Roithmayr, President, Autism Speaks US; Seated: Dame Stephanie Shirley, Autism Speaks UK Chair of Trustees
autism?' was 'We don't know,'” said Gilfoy. “Now we can say that we have explorable hypotheses and interventions to respond to the first signs of autism.”
Several Autism Speaks executives from the United States were in attendance, including Mark Roithmayr, President; Glenn Tringali, Executive Vice President of Fundraising and Development; Sophia Colamarino, Vice President of Research, and Dana Marnane, National Director of Communications and Marketing.
Staff and Trustees of Autism Speaks in the US and UK