Cause Spotlight: Autism Charities
- Lauren Miura
…one in 59 children in the U.S. diagnosed, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know has a loved one with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). If it seems like you’re hearing more about autism lately, you’re not imagining it -- diagnoses have tripled since 2000. In honor of World Autism Month, we’re spotlighting four charities that are working to raise awareness, fund research and support people affected by autism. Read on to learn how these organizations are creating positive change, and how you can support.
Autism Speaks is one of the largest and best-known autism charities. As the force behind World Autism Day (April 2) and World Autism Month, Autism Speaks is a leading voice for raising awareness of autism. Autism Speaks’ public messaging campaigns with the Ad Council have resulted in a 50% increase in autism awareness -- an important first step in helping parents recognize the early signs of autism.
Get involved: Pledge to “Go Blue” in April and upload a photo to a global World Autism Month mosaic.
…by a group of parents in 1965, the Autism Society is the oldest and largest grassroots autism organization. The Autism Society is focused on providing immediate help to people affected by autism. With more than 100 affiliates across the U.S., the Autism Society stands out for providing a local, community-led connection to people impacted by autism. It also operates a national call center (1-800-3AUTISM) where individuals and professionals can learn about autism and connect with available services.
Get Involved: Find your local affiliate and participate in a local World Autism Month event.
The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) uses applied research to make a difference in the everyday lives of individuals with autism and their families. Rather than funding research related to potential causes or cures, OAR funds studies on topics that affect day-to-day quality of life for people with autism, such as education, self-care and employment. The findings are then used to develop practical resources for members of the autism community, like Hire Autism, a job portal where adults with autism can meet with potential employers.
Get Involved: Get active and make a difference by joining an OAR team and Run for Autism.
…was founded in 2003 by two moms with sons on the autism spectrum who saw a need for services that gave their sons hope for a bright future. NEXT for AUTISM creates cutting-edge programs that improve the lives of individuals and families living with autism -- across all stages of their lives. With an estimated 500,000 children with autism becoming adults in the next decade, NEXT for AUTISM programs are addressing some of the most critical needs of this growing population -- including education, employment and independent living -- so that they can continue on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Get Involved: On April 3 and 4, NEXT for AUTISM will hold its annual Retail Therapy event at Edit NYC, where 20 percent of sales will be donated to the organization. Throughout April, Edit boutique will donate if you mention NEXT, as will www.shawnwarrenjewelry.com if you use the promo code NEXT2019
Thanks to the work of these organizations, people and families touched by autism have more support, and more hope for the future, available to them now than ever before.