e-Speaks: Global Events Mark World Autism Awareness Day; Autism Speaks Week Events Raise $2.5 Million; Collaboration to Investigate Brain Overgrowth in Autism | Circa Apr 3, 2008

Global Events Mark World Autism Awareness Day

The first-ever World Autism Awareness Day was held on April 2 and celebrated with events worldwide. In New York City, Autism Speaks began the day by ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Later in the day, an aerial card stunt was performed outside the UN where a number of prominent people later participated in a panel discussionBarnes & Noble held storytimes across the country, featuring celebrities including Kim Raver, Maria Menounos, Jesse Plemons, and Ben Vereen. Autism Speaks finished the day at the The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where President Mark Roithmayr served as a guest ringmaster. Read about awareness activities in Washington, D.C. and about local autism awareness activities occurring at our CTN and ATN sites.

Autism Speaks Week Events Raise $2.5 Million

“Autism Speaks Week,” a series of Autism Speaks events in South Florida from March 24-30, raised more than $2.5 million as well as unprecedented awareness. Events included a multi-part news series and live telethon, broadcast on NBC stations WPTV and WTVJ and Miami’s Telemundo 51, ING DIRECT Ride Now South Florida, online auction and a gala Concert for AutismSpeaksfeaturing Lionel Richie at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. Read more, view photos and video from the ING DIRECT Ride

Autism Speaks Collaborates to Investigate Molecular Basis of Brain Overgrowth in Autism Nowtelethon, and concert.

Autism Speaks will join forces with the Allen Institute for Brain Science on a research grant that facilitates examination of molecular markers of genetic activity in the brain of patients with autism. The study will provide insight into the biological features that underlie autism, and will build on previous discoveries that abnormal overgrowth of particular brain regions likely triggers autistic behavior in infants. Says Eric Courchesne, Ph.D., head of the collaboration and director of UC San Diego’s Autism Center of Excellence, “Once we pinpoint the specific brain cells and genes involved in the abnormal growth, it will be possible to see more clearly what is causing autism, which will more rapidly lead to novel biomedical interventions to improve the outcome for each child.” Read the full press release here.
Autism Speaks Collaborates to Investigate Molecular Basis of Brain Overgrowth in Autism Nowtelethon, and concert.

Autism Insurance Bill Introduced in Michigan

An insurance reform bill has been introduced in the Michigan State Legislature by Representative Kathy Angerer (D – 55) and Senator Tupac Hunter (R – 5) that will require insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders. Companion legislation, House Bills 5527/5529 and Senate Bills 785/784, will require Michigan healthcare policies to cover screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. Treatments include, but are not limited to, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological services, psychiatric services, and applied behavior analysis, as prescribed or ordered by a treating physician or psychologist. To read more about the bills and efforts in Michigan go to www.autismvotes.org/michigan

IAN Celebrates One Year Anniversary with More than 22,000 Registrants

April marks the one year anniversary of the Interactive AutismNetwork (IAN), a project collecting information online from families of children with autism spectrum disorders throughout the United States, which has had a notable impact on autism research. More than 22,000 individuals and families affected by autism have registered to participate, and more than 70 autism research studies are using IAN data or recruitment services to support their efforts. Read more.

Walk Kick-off Events in Pittsburgh and Utah Attract Nearly 1,000 Attendees

On March 28, well-attended walk kick-off events took place in Pittsburgh, Penn. and Salt Lake City, Utah. While Pittsburgh is gearing up for its 9th annual Walk Now for Autism, Utah is preparing for its inaugural event in May. Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr and emcee Larry Richert addressed the enthusiastic crowd during the kick-off breakfast at Heinz Field East Club Lounge in Pittsburgh. And news that they have already raised nearly $96,000 energized the attendees at the inaugural Utah kick-off. Read more about the Pittsburgh and Utah kick-off events.

Support Anne Fontaine During Autism Awareness Month

Autism Speaks is excited to partner with women’s apparel boutique, Anne Fontaine, during April for a special promotion. In-store events will take place nationwide, where 10% of all sales on April 10 will be donated to Autism Speaks. $50 from every Anne Fontaine Alison T-Blouse purchased between April 10 and April 30 will be donated to Autism Speaks. Read more and find an Anne Fontaine location near you here.

Experience the Writing Talent of People with Autism

World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 celebrated the unique talents and skills of persons with autism. In recognition of this event and Autism Awareness Month, we are showcasing the writing of talented individuals on the autism spectrum on our website. Read featured submissions in our Writer’s Showcase here.

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