Divergent News

Archived | e-Speaks: President Obama’s Budget Proposal Includes Funding for Autism; Florida Walks; ABLE Account Legislation | Circa March 5, 2009

Autism Speaks e-Speaks via Thu, Mar 5, 2009, 10:24 PM
to Genevieve
e-Speaks || March 6, 2009

President Obama’s 2010 Federal Budget Proposal Includes Funding for Autism

For the first time in our nation’s history, direct funding for autism has been included in the President’s budget proposal. President Barack Obama unveiled his proposed Fiscal Year 2010 budget which includes $211 million for the Combating Autism Act (CAA) to fight autism through biomedical and environmental research, surveillance, awareness and early identification. Read more

 Walk Now for Autism Spring Season Kicks Off in FloridaThe 2009 Walk Now for Autism spring season kicked off in South Florida with three successful events taking place in Jensen Beach, West Palm Beach and Key Biscayne. More than 17,000 people participated, raising nearly $755,000. Read more and view photos here.

Federal Legislation Introduced to Create Tax-Exempt Savings Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities

The ABLE Accounts Act of 2009 – or Achieving a Better Life Experience Act – has been introduced in Congress. S.493 and H.R. 1205 will encourage individuals with autism and other disabilities and their families to save, tax-free, for disability-related expenses. Similar in many respects to existing 529 college savings plans, these accounts will be exempt from federal taxation, provided certain rules are met. Read more and learn how to take action here.

Toys “R”Us Stores Launch Fundraising Campaign To Benefit Autism Speaks

Last weekend, Toys“R”Us, Inc. kicked off a nine-week in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks. For the first time in the three-year partnership with Autism Speaks, the company’s more than 260 Babies“R”Us stores also are participating in the program. Through Friday, May 1, donations will be collected in more than 800 “R”Us stores across the country and online at to coincide with Autism Awareness Month in April. Read more.

Lindt & Sprüngli’s Chocolate Bunny to Raise Awareness and Funds

Lindt & Sprüngli announced a national partnership with Autism Speaks where it will donate a portion of the proceeds from each Lindt Gold Bunny sold from March 12 – April 12. To further promote the partnership, Lindt also announced a program to honor two “Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism,” ordinary individuals who are extraordinary champions for the cause. Read more.

Autism Speaks Announces $5 Million to Fund Studies on Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Autism

Autism Speaks has announced its commitment of $5 million to investigate genetic and environmental risk factors for autism. The project will expand and link two large-scale, multi-site studies – the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) and Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) and will facilitate the collaborative prospective study of more than 2000 infant siblings of children with autism. This support will allow these two projects to expand data collection in each project during critical periods of development, including genetic, neurobiological, diagnostic and environmental information on families recruited. Read more.

Symposium Focuses on Regression and Broader Autism Phenotype

Scientists that focus on understanding the risk factors and earliest signs of autism met on January 28-29 to share new ideas at the annual meeting of Autism Speaks’ sponsored High Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium. The symposium focused on two topics of interest: regression and the broader autism phenotype. Investigators shared findings in these areas which have emerged from ongoing studies that track the development of high risk infant siblings throughout early life and are helping to shed light on the early course of autism spectrum disorders. Read more.

Spring Clean Your Home and Raise Money for Autism Speaks

 It’s the time of year to clean your house from top to bottom to welcome spring! This year, sell your unwanted belongings on eBay to benefit Autism Speaks. Community Sellers have raised nearly $185,000 for Autism Speaks using eBay Giving Works. Read more.

In Their Own Words: My Little Monster

In our latest “In Their Own Words” essay, a college student shares an assignment she wrote about living with Asperger’s Syndrome, explaining how it is both her worst enemy and her best friend. Read more.

Coming SoonMarch 8:
New Jersey Nets Awareness Night (East Rutherford, N.J.)
Atlanta Thrashers Awareness Night (Atlanta, Ga.)

March 11:
Kickoff for a Cure IV (New York, N.Y.)

March 12-20:
Eat, Shop, Give! (Washington, D.C.)

March 14:
New York City Walk Now for Autism Kick-off (Queens, N.Y.)

Spring Walk Now for Autism events began on February 21.
Find a Walk near you!

Celebrate World Autism Awareness DayThe second annual World Autism Awareness Day will be celebrated on April 2. Learn more about World Autism Awareness Day and planned worldwide activities here

Help raise funds for Autism Speaks by participating in this year’s Walk with Wubbzy on the Web. Purchase a limited-edition 2009 World Autism Awareness Day t-shirt here.

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