Autism Speaks

By Ana S & Emily L

Mission Statement

"Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we've been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead."

-Taken from


Autism affects families all over the world. An organization called Autism Speaks helps and supports all of these families. This group both does research and funds for it. They hold many events to raise awareness and are dedicated to finding treatments for autistic children. Autism Speaks has helped over 70 million families affected by autism. This charity gives hope to all families who have autistic children and helps them try to live a normal life.

-AS & EL

What is the cause of this charity?

Autism Speaks supports the issue of autism. Autism is a spectrum disorder that includes problems with social relationships, communication and imagination. The number of autistic children have dramatically increased in the past few years. In the 1960’s, only one in every 2,500 children were diagnosed with autism. Now that the numbers have increased dramatically, in 2007 one in every 150 children were diagnosed with autism. This is why Autism Speaks is trying to fund research for prevention and treatment.

Autism Speaks also supports finding a cure and the cause for autism. Although there are some possible reasons for autism to occur, the cause is not understood completely. Treatments are also not effective. It is know that it is linked to the brain. Since it is more likely in males, some think it has a genetic aspect. The genetic aspect could be that the genes mutated wrong. It could also be that there are defective genes. Others think that the cause is birth problems. They think that if the child is exposed to toxic waste at an early age, autism could be triggered. All we know for sure is that autism is not a mental illness.


How did this organization begin and grow into what it is now?

Autism Speaks started out as an idea in the minds of a couple with an autistic grandson, but it grew into a large and well-known organization made to support people with autism. Co-founders, Bob and Suzanne Wright, founded this organization in 2005. Their old friend, Bernie Marcus, donated $25 million dollars to help kick off Autism Speaks. It was founded to help raise awareness and do research for autism. The Wright’s grandson was autistic, which motivated them even more to help the cause.

Since it was founded, ¨Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest advocacy organization benefiting autism research. "The purpose of Autism Speaks is the same as it was when it was founded 10 years ago in New York. Suzanne Wright says, ¨there is a 50 percent more awareness with parents with young children with autism¨. Autism Speaks has grown into a great organization with locations around the world dedicated to supporting children and families with autism.


What does the charity do for the community?

Autism Speaks, a charity that does research and raises awareness for autism, provides many services and programs for the community and families affected by autism. They have get togethers for the community and people who support the cause. Autism Speaks has helped over 70 million kids. All these children have this disorder that affects their social skills. The organization holds walks to raise awareness in more than 100 areas around the United States to make them convenient for supporters. Also, Autism Speaks has a Response Team that accepts calls and emails from families, and they have been doing this since 2007, two years after the foundation.

Autism Speaks cares about the families who have a hard time financially. In fact, they are willing to help them. According to the Autism Speaks website, ¨the signing of the ABLE Act established tax free savings for the 58 million families with disabilities.¨ For communities, this organization sells blue apparel for people who want to support other people with autism. Each purchase from ¨¨ goes to Autism Speaks to continue research for autism.


How effective is the charity in accomplishing its goals?

Autism Speaks is effective in accomplishing its goals. This charity is funded so that they can continue to help others who are autistic and families affected by autism. One way they are funded is by contributions. This money makes up 87% of their funds, with over $46,000,000 in total. They are also funded by government grants, federated campaigns, and fundraising events. The money they make on these is over $7,000,000. Autism Speaks uses this money to help many people with autism.

With all the money that Autism Speaks is given, they use it to help the community. Most of the money is spent on the program. This means that over $41,000,000 is spent on helping children and their families with autism. This organization also helps fund research. The rest of the money that Autism Speaks is given, goes to the administrative and on fundraising. This only makes up a tiny percentage of the money though with 29.1%. This 3 out of 4 starred charity has helped many families and provided a lot of hope for autism.


Works Cited

1. "At Issue: Autism." SIRS Issues Researcher. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

2. "Autism Speaks." Charity Navigator. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015. <>.

3. Autism Speaks. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <>.

4. Ballaro, Beverly, and Ann Griswold. "Autism: An Overview." Ebsco. Points of View: Autism, 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

5. Brown, Sarah Lennard. Autism. Chicago, IL: Raintree, 2004. Print.

6. Freedman, Jeri. Autism. New York, NY: Rosen Pub., 2009. Print.

7. Rimland, Bernard. "Autism." Academic American Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1998. 356. Print.

8. Wright, Bob. "Bob Wright, Co-founder, Autism Speaks, Is Interviewed on Bloomberg TV Regarding Autism and Health Care." Ebsco. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.