As important as individual grants, initiative projects give Autism Speaks a much more proactive role in promoting specific research. Initiatives frequently involve formation of collaborative research consortia, support of targeted research, organization of research meetings, and creation of research resources. Autism is a complex disease and we believe initiatives that bring together researchers in varied fields (genetics, behavioral sciences and many others) promote a collaborative approach that will help solve the mysteries of this devastating disorder as quickly as possible.
Autism Epidemiology Network
Autism Speaks and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are co-sponsoring this initiative to explore possible scientific opportunities in an international collaborative effort in autism epidemiology.
Autism Genome Project
Launched in 2004, the Autism Genome Project, or AGP, is the largest study ever conducted to find the genes associated with inherited risk for autism.
To begin intervention at the earliest possible time, priority must be given to developing unbiased approaches to predict the presence of autism. Biological markers can also help define autism subtypes and reveal potential therapeutic targets.
Brain Development Initiative
The creation of effective biologically-based treatments for autism will require knowledge of the underlying brain defects. Identifying what goes awry in the developing brain of children with autism is the first step.
Environmental Factors Initiative
Although we know that genetics is an important factor, genetics alone may not account for all cases of autism. The increase in the reported number of autism cases has generated extreme concern over the potential involvement of toxins as well as infectious agents in our environment.
High Risk Baby Sibs
The High Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium was established in 2003 with the goal of bringing together the major research groups in the field to discover the earliest behavioral and biomedical markers of autism spectrum disorder.
Innovative Technologies for Autism
ITA was established to lead in the development of products that provide real world solutions to issues faced by those with autism, their families, educators, healthcare specialists, and researchers.
To achieve standardization of treatment, Autism Speaks supports research into development and translation of innovative therapies, creation of assistive technologies and formation of centers with integrated multi-disciplinary medical teams.
More From 2007
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.