The Request For Proposals Represents Autism Speaks First Scientific Initiative Since Its Founding in February of 2005; Dana Foundation to Assist in Administering Grant Requests
(November 15, 2005—New York, NY) Autism Speaks announced today that is initiating a grant program targeted at established scientists new to the field of autism at leading medical and research institutions. The Dana Foundation will assist in administering this first round of grants. The organization is encouraging the autism community to widely share the request for proposals with others and to encourage colleagues in the research field to apply to become an inaugural grantee.
“The objective of this request for proposals is to encourage established scientists in any of a variety of disciplines to take on the challenge of autism and begin to answer questions that will lead to better diagnosis, prevention and treatment of this disorder,” said Dr. Gary Goldstein, President and CEO of the Kennedy Krieger Foundation and Chief Scientific Advisor to Autism Speaks.
“To achieve this goal, we anticipate that investigators new to autism research may seek collaborations with clinical autism centers or one of several tissue or blood banks that have relevant clinical materials. We understand that fruitful projects may involve collaborations with institutions outside of the home base of the principal investigator.”
Autism Speaks anticipates a sustained relationship of funding to investigators with promising results.
During the past decade, there has been an enormous increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism. While once thought to be a rare disorder, autism is now being diagnosed in 1 in 104 boys and 1 in 166 children.
Diagnosis is made by three years of age in most cases and represents a heterogeneous syndrome with delays and often regressions in social interaction and communication skills. Repetitive and at times self-injurious behavior is also part of the symptom complex.
To date there is no biomedical test for the disorder and, despite well-defined increases in the familial occurrence of autism, there is no identified genetic abnormality in most cases. There is a strong suspicion of genetic vulnerabilities interacting with environmental exposure.
Autism Speaks recognizes the need for new approaches to making an objective diagnosis of autism, studies to explore exposures that might trigger autism in susceptible populations, and the applications of the latest technologies to identify the basis for familial susceptibility to autism. Intensive behavioral therapies are generally accepted to improve the outcome of autism in some children, especially when begun in early life.
Studies to build on these successes and to better understand the predictors of who may or may not respond to behavioral therapy, and what augmentations to current therapies might improve the success rate, are certainly appropriate. These are a few examples of areas that would benefit from additional investigations.
Autism Speaks will begin funding selected grants in July 2006 and intends to provide ongoing support to successful investigators. Specific information regarding requirements and deadlines for filing applications can be found at Autism Speaks web site.
Autism Speaks is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization devoted to educating the public about autism, facilitating and funding research, motivating private and governmental resources, and, ultimately, finding a cure for autism. It was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright. Bob Wright is the Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal.
The Dana Foundation is a private, philanthropic organization with particular interests in brain science, immunology and arts education.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.