AutismArtist.Org Collecting Artwork; Sales to Benefit Educational Programs


(From, a not-for profit organization founded in December, 2009, announced today that it had begun accepting artwork from children with autism. One child’s artwork will be featured each day at T-shirts, sweatshirts, bags and hats featuring the artwork will be auctioned online to raise funds for educational and other programs for children with autism spectrum disorders. 

“When I began working with children on the autism spectrum and developed a close relationship with many students, I realized there was a void in the resources that were available to them.  I became determined to find a way to enhance their education, and make a difference in their lives,” said Florence Arking, president of and former field worker and teachers assistant at the Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center in New Brunswick, NJ.

At the end of the year, the original pieces of artwork will be matted, framed and auctioned off at a black tie gala with 100% of the proceeds distributed to schools and other programs that support children with autism.

How to Submit Artwork:

Each piece of artwork should be created on paper or canvas that is no smaller than 8 x 10 and no larger than 20 x 24 inches.  Children can use any type of art supplies including crayons, markers, paint etc. and can use any colors.  On the back of each piece of art write the child’s name, date of birth, contact phone number and email address.

For more information visit

Contact Info:

Florence Arking
331 West 25th St
New York, NY 10001

ASF Offers IMFAR Grants to Autism Stakeholders

 The Autism Science Foundation announced today that it is offering a limited number of grants to parents of children with autism, individuals with autism, and other stakeholders to support attendance at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), to be held in Philadelphia, May 20-22, 2010. Awards of up to $1000 can be used to cover registration, travel, accommodations, meals and other directly related expenses, including childcare. After the conference, grant recipients will be expected to share what they’ve learned with families in their local communities and/or online.

IMFAR is an annual scientific meeting, convened each spring, to promote, exchange and disseminate the latest scientific findings in autism research and to stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments for autism spectrum disorders. IMFAR is the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).

“We are thrilled to be able to give back directly to the autism community in a research-focused way,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “The award recipients will bring critical new research information to their communities, increasing the speed with which the latest data are shared with the broader autism community.”

“These scholarships are a wonderful opportunity to bring more stakeholders to the IMFAR and improve dissemination of the latest research findings presented at the conference,” said Dr. David Amaral, president of INSAR and director of research at the University of California at Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.

To apply, send a letter to describing why you want to attend IMFAR and, most importantly, explaining how you would share what you learn there with the broader autism community. Letters should be sent as Microsoft Word attachments (use suffix .doc, not .docx) of no more than 2 pages, 12-point type, “Arial” font, with standard margins. In the subject line please write: IMFAR Grant. Letters must be received by March 15, 2010. Recipients will be announced in April. Additional application information is available at

ASF Pre-Doctoral Grant Recipents Announced

The Autism Science Foundation announced today that it had awarded doctoral training fellowships to six pre-doctoral students committed to pursuing careers in basic and clinical scientific research relevant to autism spectrum disorders.  In all, $180,000 in grants will be distributed to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism treatment, biomarkers, animal models, and epidemiology.

“We are thrilled to be funding grants after only ten months of fundraising and operations,” said Autism Science Foundation co-founder Karen London.  “Outstanding research is the greatest gift we can offer our families. We are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research.”

“Too much time has been spent looking backwards at the now debunked theory that vaccines caused autism,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “We need to regroup; we need to look forward and invest in discovering biomarkers that can lead to earlier diagnosis, in animal models that can illuminate biological pathways, and in treatments that target the most debilitating aspects of autism. This round of grants is aimed in that direction.”

Grant applications were reviewed by members of the Autism Science Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) as well as by outside scientific experts in specific subject areas. Grants were also reviewed by ASF’s Stakeholder Review Committee, comprised of parents, individuals with autism, a special education teacher and other stakeholders.

The following projects were selected for funding (student/mentor):

  • Sarita Austin/Dr. Rhea Paul; Yale Child Study Center:  
    Enhancing Understanding and Use of Conversational Rules in School-Aged Speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Karen Burner/Dr. Sara Jane Webb; University of Washington, Seattle:
    Observational and Electrophysiological Assessments of Temperament in Infants at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  •  Rhonda Charles/Dr. Joseph Buxbaum; Mount Sinai School of Medicine:
    A Preclinical Model for Determining the Role of AVPR1A in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Sarah Hannigen/Dr. Mark Strauss; University of Pittsburgh:
    Defining High and Low Risk Expression of Emotion in Infants at Risk for Autism
  • Matthew Maenner/Dr. Maureen Durkin; University of Wisconsin, Madison:
    Phenotypic Heterogeneity and Early Identification of ASD in the United States

  • Michael Sidorov/Dr. Mark Bear; MIT:
    Investigation of Postnatal Drug Intervention’s Potential in Rescuing the Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome in Adult Mice

Time to Regroup on Autism

Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer has an OpEd on about the medical journal The Lancet ‘s decision to retract the controversial 1998 paper that first linked the MMR vaccine to autism and set off an unfounded fear of vaccination. Singer says new research has been overshadowed as some cling to the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. She says research must move forward with science as the guide.  Read the full story here.

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