Archived | e-Speaks: Toys”R”Us; Corporate Partners; Autism Speaks 400; Haircuts | Circa May 29, 2009

Autism Speaks e-Speaks via May 29, 2009, 3:17 PM
to Genevieve
e-Speaks || May 29, 2009

Toys”R”Us, Inc. Raises More than $1.9 Million

The Toys”R”Us, Inc. 2009 nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks raised more than $1.9 million and marked the first time in the partnership’s three-year history that the company’s Babies”R”Us stores participated in the fundraising campaign. Since the partnership began in 2007, Autism Speaks has received $5.6 million through money raised during the Toys”R”Us, Inc. in-store and online fundraising campaigns and through donations from the Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys”R”Us, Inc. The company continues to serve as the national sponsor of the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism program. Read more.

Autism Awareness Month Corporate Partners Post Remarkable Results

Autism Speaks was proud to collaborate with numerous corporate and philanthropic partners that helped increase autism awareness, while greatly enhancing the organization’s fundraising efforts during Autism Awareness Month in April.

TJ Maxx raised $940,000 through the sale of paper puzzle pieces at 800 stores nationwide. A new corporate partner, chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli, raised nearly $103,000 through sales of its Gold Bunny and plush Lindt Gold Bunny Ears.

Another returning corporate partner, Modell’s Sporting Goods, brought in $73,000 through a similar “Dollar Donation Days” promotion. For the fifth year in a row, Build-a-Bear Workshop teamed up with Autism Speaks, this year raising $43,000 through the sale of purple hearts. Online search engine’s unique awareness and donation initiative raised $25,000.

TransPerfect Translations donated $22,000 and Polo Ralph Lauren contributed $20,000 from store events. Read more about April promotions here.

Tune-in to FOX for the NASCAR “Autism Speaks 400, presented by Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips & Cheese”

On Sunday, May 31, tune-in to FOX to see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Autism Speaks 400, presented by Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips & Cheese” from Dover International Speedway. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Check local listings for details in your area. Read more about the partnership and race. 

Click here for fun ways to celebrate your favorite driver while raising funds and awareness for Autism Speaks.

Three Walk Now for Autism Events Raise Over $1.32 Million

The month of May continues strong with three more successful Walk Now for Autism events in Chicago, Cincinnati and Laurel Highlands. More than 22,000 people participated, raising over $1.32 million. Read more and view photos here.

Community Connections: Autism Speaks and Snip-its Offer Guide and Video to Improve the Haircutting Experience

Haircuts can sometimes be difficult for people with autism. The challenges can range from sensory issues to anxiety about what will happen during the haircutting process. Autism Speaks partnered with children’s haircut franchise Snip-its and Melmark New England to develop a haircutting training guide which provides information to families and stylists on how to make the haircutting experience more positive for children with autism. Read more and watch video here.

Nevada and Connecticut Pass Autism Insurance Reform Bills

State legislatures in Nevada (AB 162) and Connecticut (SB 301) have both passed autism insurance reform bills, which require insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies. Both bills head to the desks of the governors to be signed into law. The autism insurance reform bill in New Jersey (A.2238) has taken a major step forward as well. After hearing testimony last week from Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright and other autism advocacy groups, the State Assembly passed the bill. The bill now goes to the State Senate for further review. Learn more about the NevadaConnecticut, and New Jersey bills.

Autism Speaks Hails the Introduction of the Autism Treatment Acceleration Act In the U.S. House Of Representatives 

Autism Speaks applauds the introduction of the groundbreaking Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (ATAA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Introduced by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Hank Johnson (D-GA), ATAA is comprehensive federal legislation that addresses several critical challenges facing the autism community, including increased funding for scientific research, treatment and services. The House ATAA bill was introduced as a companion to the bill introduced in the Senate last month by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). A key section of the bill requires insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder, including coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy – a medically-necessary, evidence-based autism treatment.

To learn more and take action on the ATAA, visit

Available to Families: Autism Speaks’ Research Consortium Guide on Clinical Assessment of Infants

In May, the journal Pediatrics published an article authored by members of Autism Speaks’ High Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) to expand on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations on evaluation by primary care providers of 18 and 24 month olds with suspected autism spectrum disorder, and is part of an ongoing effort of the BSRC to share research findings with the clinical community.

The paper outlines several early signs of autism that physicians and other health care providers should be aware of, and also identifies potential screening tools that may be used to detect early behavioral indicators.

In addition to helping pediatricians understand the needs of children with early warning signs, the paper was meant to help support parents with questions about the development of their own child. Autism Speaks has received special permission to provide families with the complete text of the article. Read more and access a link to the full article here.

Calling All Families: Groundbreaking Study Seeks 3,000 Participants from Across the U.S. 

Researchers from UCLA, Washington University, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute are calling on all families touched by autism to participate in a vital and innovative study in the hope of having as many new families as possible join the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) – a web-based autism research effort that has already collected data from thousands of families – to prove that online family-researcher collaboration can increase the pace of autism research. The study is funded by a special Autism Speaks grant as part of its High Risk-High Impact initiative. Families who share information on their child’s diagnosis, development, and treatments online will now have the opportunity to provide biological samples as well – a step crucial to advancing autism research. Read more about this study here. To participate in IAN research, visit

 IAN Reports on Family Stress

 In part one of a three part series on family stress, The Interactive Autism Network (IAN), a project collecting information online from families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) throughout the United States, surveyed parents about stress associated with child-focused issues. IAN reports that more 72% of participating parents reported that challenging behaviors had a moderate or great negative impact on their lives. The report details further findings related to erratic sleep habits, treatment issues, setbacks and worry about the future. The next part of the series will focus on additional issues, such as the impact of autism on finances and parents’ careers. Read more.

New for Spring: Autism Speaks Hooded Sweatshirts

Spread autism awareness while you’re jogging, walking the dog, standing on the sidelines of a soccer game, participating in a Walk Now for Autism event or just loafing around. These moisture-wicking Champion brand sweatshirts sport the Autism Speaks logo and a two-toned hood. Men’s comes in black, while women’s comes in snow blue.

 Purchase hoodies from the Autism Speaks online store now!

In Their Own Words: When Angels Walk the Earth

In our latest “In Their Own Words” essay, a high school senior describes how having a younger sister with autism has shaped her life. The author is an active fundraiser for the Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for AutismRead more.

Coming Soon

May 30
Bay Area Walk Now for Autism(San Jose, Calif.)
Denver Walk Now for Autism (Denver, Colo.)
Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Kick-off (Oak Creek, Wis.)
Wheeling Walk Now for Autism (Wheeling, W.Va.)

May 31
Autism Speaks 400, presented by Heluva Good!® Sour Cream Dips & Cheese (Dover, Del.)

June 6
Blair County Walk Now for Autism (Altoona, Penn.)

June 7
Greater Hartford Walk Now for Autism (New Britain, Conn.)
Oklahoma City Walk Now for Autism (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Ontario Walk Now for Autism (Toronto, Ontario)
Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for Autism (Purchase, N.Y.)

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