Next 10 VisionAutism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Recognizing the need for a powerful voice Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Building upon the legacy of three leading autism organizations, Autism Coalition for Research and Education (ACRE), the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), who merged with the organization, Autism Speaks has made extraordinary advancements in the autism community. Chief among these are increased global awareness of autism, better understanding of the breadth of the autism spectrum, and advocacy to increase research and access to care and support. Today, Autism Speaks is dedicated to advancing research into causes and better treatments for autism spectrum disorders and related conditions both through direct funding and collaboration; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders; and working toward solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families across the spectrum and lifespan through advocacy and support.
To accomplish this, Autism Speaks will relentlessly pursue strategies that make significant progress toward the following outcomes over the next 10 years:
- A better understanding of the causes and typology of ASD
- Children with an autism spectrum disorder being diagnosed before the age of 2
- Children having access to appropriate intervention, services and resources immediately following diagnosis
- The availability of better treatments both for underlying pathology as well as co-existing conditions that decrease quality of life for those with autism
- People with ASD and their families have transition plans that result in more independent adult life that is meaningful to the individual
- Individuals with ASD will have effective interventions, services and supports throughout their lifetime