Tag Archives: Autism Speaks

John Elder Robison Speaks | I Hope the Autism Community is Listening

As the mom of a teen with ASDs, I know I am fortunate. My son needs some supports but he has great strengths and gifts, too.  Yet I can understand how families whose loved ones are more severely impacted might welcome medical advances that would perhaps give their child speech or help draw him out of his shell, etc. With a spectrum disorder one size does not fit all.


Today I attended an informational hearing with California State Senator Lou Correa and members of the State Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders, where folks from UC Irvine’s Center for Autism Research and Translation (CART) and the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders presented their request for support from the state for their research efforts.

I sincerely hope that an organization with its power and sway will equally see the merit of providing as much raw enthusiasm and funding toward support services for individuals with autism as they do for research into a ‘cure.’  As it stands, right now there are scores of people in need of services ranging from speech and occupational therapy to job coaching and independent living skills. Right now.

ImageThen I come home to discover that John Elder Robison has severed ties with Autism Speaks. Among the irreconcilable differences he cites is along the same lines as what I stated above regarding the need for services for individuals with autism: ‘…Unfortunately, the majority of the research Autism Speaks has funded to date does not meet those needs, and the community services are too small a percentage of total budget to be truly meaningful.  We have delivered very little value to autistic people, for the many millions raised. …’

Read his entire statement here:  http://jerobison.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-resign-my-roles-at-autism-speaks.html

Wow. Mr. Robison’s actions speak volumes.

Check out the numerous comments to Suzanne Wright’s article.  http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/autism-speaks-washington-call-action

While I have applauded many of the efforts of Autism Speaks, as the mom of a 17-year-old I can totally understand where Mr. Robison is coming from.

Maybe the best solution doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Can’t we have balanced efforts into treatments/supports and research? Since when did they have to be mutually exclusive?

Your thoughts?


iPad Grant Applications are Open! Don’t Miss Your Chance!

December 2012: Autism Speaks iPad 2 Grant!

Through the generosity of Sevenly.org and the James W. Pickle Foundation, 625 financially disadvantaged individuals with autism and schools will receive an Apple iPad 2, according to Autism Speaks!

Eligible applicants are individuals who:
– Have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional,
– Reside in the United States,
– Have limited income and cannot afford to purchase an iPad.

Note: If you already submitted an application for the iPad 2 grant in February 2012, you must re-apply to be considered for the new round.

Technology Grant Timeline

December 3: Online Application Opens
December 7: Application Closes
December 7-14: Review Committee Selects Recipients
December 17: Recipients Announced and iPads sent out!

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted by the person with autism, an immediate family member of the person with autism, or a licensed teacher, social worker, or therapist. The Technology Grant Review Committee will review eligible applications based on established criteria and select the iPad grant recipients. Some applicants will be contacted by staff for follow-up information. All applicants selected to receive an iPad 2 will be contacted on December 17. Others will receive an email informing them of their status.

Visit the AutismCares website to apply! You must create a login and select Autism Speaks iPad Grant.

Note: Please DO NOT complete the application entitled “AutismCares Application” if you are applying for an iPad. Only those applicants that complete the application entitled “Autism Speaks iPad Grant” will be considered.

Only applicants in the United States will be considered. We cannot accept applications from outside the United States.

Earlier this year, Autism Speaks was able to award 180 iPads to families across the USA. Read more about it here!  

Questions or comments? 
Contact Serena Selkin, Family Services Grants Manager at sselkin@autismspeaks.org or (917) 475-5059.

DSM-5 Update

If you haven’t yet read Autism Speaks’ view of the proposed changes to the DSM-5, I’ve attached the link here. After you read it, let me know what you think.


I am happy to hear of this newly funded study and can’t wait to see the results. I want to make sure our less impacted people still get the services they need.

I’d like to hear from many of you on this.