Cure Autism Now Receives Incredible $1 Million Donation From Bernard Family  | Nov. 4, 1999 #AutisticHistory  

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Cure Autism Now Receives Incredible $1 Million Donation 
The Bernard Family Challenges Others to Advance Autism Research to the Next Level

Tom and Sallie Bernard, parents of triplet boys, one who has autism, have donated an incredible $1 million to Cure Autism Now. It is there hope that other supporters will help increase the impact of this important gift by raising an additional $2 million for autism research in the coming months.

“Last year we made a substantial donation to AGRE. We were amazed to see it matched five-fold by the community. We were so amazed by the response, that we felt it important to raise the bar this year,” CAN board member Sallie Bernard said. 

Over the past eight years, the Bernards have tried everything to lessen the effects of their son Billy’s autism – pharmaceuticals, diet, antifungals, ABA/Lovaas, AIT, Fast For-Word, speech and occupational therapy. “Most of these interventions have helped, but our son is still very much autistic,” Bernard said. “It is painfully evident that biomedical research is the only viable option left for our son.”

The funds raised through this challenge grant will be used to fund two very important projects – the first is to continue support of AGRE, Cure Autism Now’s collaborative resource for the study of autism genetics. With 358 families with more than one child with autism included in the resource today, this fundraising effort will allow us to reach our goal of 500 families by the end of 2001. 

The second project is to fund a new Cure Autism Now award – the Genius Award. In the past, CAN has spent $80,000 per pilot study or fellowship award. This has been an effective strategy for positioning scientists to apply for larger grants and for encouraging new researchers to begin studying autism. But in order to increase the pace, Cure Autism Now must have the ability to make larger grants to very senior scientists in major laboratories around the country. In order to convince these scientists to switch their interests to autism, the awards will provide $200,000 in funding over two years to recipients. 

Tom and Sallie are making a crucial difference in the lives of so many families. The Bernards and CAN hope to leverage this gift to raise an additional $2 million over the next several months. We encourage you to join them advancing autism research to the next level. 

If you are interested in helping to meet the Bernard’s challenge or would like more information, please contact Elizabeth Kilpatrick at 888-8AUTISM or by e-mail at

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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 workIn 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.

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