In an effort to help individuals and families cope with autism to improve outcomes and the quality of life for all involved, there are a number of organizations dedicated to providing families with various levels of support.
However, one such organization deserves a shoutout: The Autism Science Foundation (ASF). Here’s just a snapshot of what makes the Autism Science Foundation stand out and make a difference.
What is the Autism Science Foundation?
ASF is a nonprofit organization that was originally founded in 2009. The organization’s mission is to support the science behind autism by providing assistance, resources, and funding to organizations, facilities, and groups that conduct autism research.
ASF is also dedicated to spreading awareness and education for all members of the community to increase understanding surrounding the different spectrums of autism and the needs of those who are directly impacted by autism.
In addition to the accumulation of over $2 million allocated toward research, the organization has also created spaces for public seminars, major fundraising events, and generated virtual education materials to spread awareness of autism, autism spectrum disorders, and the needs of individuals and families.
How the Autism Science Foundation Gives Back
ASF hosts a number of events and opportunities for community members to get involved, show their support, and make donations. Here are just a few examples of how ASF gives back to the community:
“Day of Learning”
Launched and expanded in 2019, the “Day of Learning” is an annual science event delivered in a “TED Talk” style, dedicated to educating the general public on autism and its many effects on both the individual and their families.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASF launched its first-ever digital “Day of Learning” to deliver the same message to all participants safely in their homes. Most recently, ASF now offers grants for researchers studying the effects of COVID-19 on autistic individuals.
Another holiday event that occurs during the holiday season, the ASF community and supporters all lend a hand in preparing a holiday meal to honor and remember the importance of teamwork and hope that play a role in coping with autism.
Wall Street “Rides FAR (For Autism Research)”
Wall Street Rides FAR (For Autism Research) is an annual cycling event that involves hundreds of riders—both extreme cyclists and recreational weekenders—that travel north of New York City. Supported by various crew members along the 15-mile journey, this is another event that sparks teamwork, courage, and hope. This event alone raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for autism research each year. All proceeds support ASF.
In October 2018, ASF launched the Alliance for Genetic Etiologies of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Autism (AGENDA). AGENDA is a partnership of organizations dedicated to the pathology and research on the genetics behind autism, with the goal of improving the outcomes and quality of life for individuals with autism.
AGENDA also launched an online portal to serve as a resource for researchers to leverage while investigating the different forms of autism.
Impact and Future Plans for ASF
Every year, ASF is able to contribute more to funding scientific research for autism. And although 2020 was a year full of fear, more questions than answers, and uncertainty, ASF was still proud of its many accomplishments, specifically related to COVID-19.
In fact, ASF launched COVID-19 Pivot Grants and COVID-19 Research Grants to not only help researchers to adapt their existing research and projects to new COVID-19 restrictions, but also to study how COVID-19 affects austic individuals.
When looking ahead at 2021 and beyond, this research is expected to continue, including the effects of COVID-19 vaccinations on individuals with autism.
How to Support ASF
Regardless of how you connect with ASF, your contribution can make a huge impact on the lives of people with autism and their families. In addition to volunteering or participating in their annual events, you can also donate to ASF simply by shopping online with Giving Assistant.
Our browser extension, The Button also makes it even easier to give back and support the nonprofits and charities that are near and dear to your heart. imply download the button, shop, save, and automate your cash back donations.