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Archive for May, 2011

Alex Plank of WrongPlanet sits down with ASF Scientific Advisory Board member David Mandell at IMFAR 2011 to discuss his recent research, which focuses on how parents and communities care for people with autism.
 
 

 
David Mandell is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research and Associate Director of the Penn/CHOP Center for Autism Research. You can read  the rest of his bio here.

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What won’t I do to raise money for autism research? This time, I’ll be riding on the back of a motorcycle from Rockville Centre NY to the Montauk Lighthouse with the AML Bikers for Charity, who have selected to support the Autism Science Foundation with their ride again this year on June 13. Am I scared? In a word, YES! But not as scared as I am that we are not funding autism research fast enough. Having just returned from the International Meeting for Autism Research, I am more optimistic than ever that we are on our way to finding new treatments and eventually a cure for autism, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us and we need your help.

Please sponsor me as a rider in the AML Bikers for Charity by clicking on this link (LINK) and then clicking the “donate” button underneath the thermometer. Your support will mean more funds for research that will make a difference for individuals with autism and their families.

Here’s the *link* again:

Want to join the ride? Click *here* to learn more and register as a biker.

Thank you so much!  


Alison 

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Written by Shannon Des Roches Rosa. Shannon is an editor of the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and an Autism Science Foundation IMFAR Travel Grant Winner. 

As an autism parent, I have a deep interest in seeing autism research proceed toward understanding and results with as few roadblocks or distractions as possible. So, for me, one of the most notable elements of IMFAR 2011 was seeing the Autism Science Foundation and Autism Speaks working alongside each other toward common goals, in the Autism Science Foundation’s tradition of “Funding Outstanding Science.”

Anyone who has read my personal blog for more than a month or two knows I have been openly critical of Autism Speaks’ actions. I believe they have made some questionable decisions in how they approach and portray autism — but then so have I.

If I’m going to give myself permission to evolve, I can’t very well fault them for past choices when their present direction includes wide-ranging funding of promising science, and listening to the community by broadening their support for adults with autism. I believe that, in terms of AS’s science focus, they are fast evolving towards the organization I’d always hoped they could be, given their size and influence. Seeing the current results of their investment in promising science was truly heartening.

You can find the rest of the blog post here:

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Click here (link) to watch KABC’s video.

By: Denise Dador

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The emotional toll that autism takes can be huge. But that’s not the only cost that families have to face. The economic impact of autism affects everyone in the family.

What does it cost a family to take care of a child with autism? A new study from the International Meeting for Autism Research focuses on how having a child with autism affects a parent’s ability to hold down a job. And scientists found something that surprised them.

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Click here (link) to watch KABC’s video.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — New research is coming out of a major autism conference. One of the biggest concerns parents who have kids with autism is what will happen to them when they become adults. With so many more kids being diagnosed, scientists are looking to the future and what’s in store for these individuals.

(more…)

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Click here (link) to watch the video, which features Shannon Des Roches Rosa and Dr. David Mandell:

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Autism Science Foundation Co-Founder Karen London and Autism Science Foundation Scientific Advisory Board Member Dr. Eric London today received the International Society of Autism Research (INSAR) Advocate Award. The inaugural award was presented at the 10th Anniversary International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in San Diego, CA.

The Londons, who founded the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), were cited for their pivotal role in creating the field of parent advocacy in the autism community and for co-founding IMFAR in 2001. Portia Iverson and Jon Shestak, founders of Cure Autism Now (CAN), also received lifetime achievement awards at this year’s IMFAR.

In accepting the award, Karen London said “We founded NAAR in 1994 at a time when ‘autism research’ was considered an oxymoron and autism was still called a ‘rare’ disorder. Sixteen years later, although our understanding of autism has advanced, the need for breakthroughs, given recent prevalence numbers, is even more urgent. Like NAAR, the Autism Science Foundation has and will continue to maintain a laser-like focus on accelerating research into causes, treatments and cures.”

Following the diagnosis of their son, Zachary, Karen and Eric London co-founded NAAR in 1994. Karen served as NAAR’s President for seven years and as a trustee for 11 years, and took the lead in NAAR’s fundraising and chapter creation.  As “volunteer director” of NAAR’s thousands of volunteers, she traveled the country – often with Zachary by her side – to “Walk FAR for NAAR” with the tens of thousands who walked to raise money for autism research.  In 2009, Karen joined with former Autism Speaks Senior Vice President & former NAAR Walk Chair Alison Singer to launch the Autism Science Foundation, which continues NAAR’s commitment to research funding and scientific excellence, and is a proud sponsor of the IMFAR conference. NAAR was the first organization in the US dedicated to funding and accelerating biomedical research and science-based approaches in autism.

Dr. Eric London set the direction of NAAR’s research portfolio, planned multi-disciplinary scientific conferences, created the Autism Tissue Program & the Baby Siblings Research Consortium, and wrote and lectured extensively. Before IMFAR, he regularly attended meetings in various disciplines to encourage scientists to consider the relevancy of their work to autism and changed the trajectory of more than a few careers.  Following the merger of NAAR and Autism Speaks, Dr. London served for three years on the Executive Board and Science Advisory Committee. In his years as a psychiatrist, he has treated thousands of children and adults on the autism spectrum. He is currently Director of Autism Treatment Research at the NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities.  He is a founding member of the Autism Science Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board.

“Karen and Eric have truly left a lasting imprint on the autism advocacy community,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation and mother of a daughter with autism. “Our goal at the Autism Science Foundation is to build on NAAR’s unwavering dedication to autism research and science, fund critically-needed autism research and deliver the answers our families need.”  Earlier this month, the Autism Science Foundation announced that in its first two years of operations, it had already awarded almost half a million dollars in autism research grant funding.

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make an online donation visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org.

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