Autism Speaks has revamped its mission statement, and there is a significant word missing in the new version.
The Previous Autism Speaks Mission
The previous mission statement of Autism Speaks was longer than the current one. However, it is the following paragraph of the replaced mission that is receiving the most scrutiny, it reads:
“We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism. We strive to raise public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families and society: and we work to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.”
The Current Autism Speaks Mission
The updated mission of Autism Speaks reads, in full:
“Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.”
Gone Is “The Cure”
No longer does the mission statement feature the word cure, even though finding a cure for autism was its 2005 foundational objective.
The focus of Autism Speaks is no longer a cure for autism, but the advance of research concerning causes and therapies for autism. Also emphasized is the promotion of autism acceptance, support, and advocacy for those who have autism and their loved ones.
A board member of Autism Speaks, Stephen Mark Shore, explained the mission change to Disability Scoop.
“Autism Speaks was founded on the goal of curing autism as one of its objectives. However, similar to many experiences of parents of children with autism, the organization grew to believe that autism is something to be worked with for promoting fulfilling and productive lives of people on the spectrum — rather than something that has to be done to.”
The Next 10 Years
In order to accomplish the aims of the new mission statement, over the next 10 years Autism Speaks plans to pursue the following outcomes:
- to A better understanding of the causes and typology of ASD
- Diagnose before the age of 2
- Children having access to appropriate intervention, services and resources immediately following diagnosis
- Better treatments for underlying pathology aand co-existing conditions that decrease quality of life
- People with ASD and their families have transition plans that result in more independent and meaningful adult lives
- Individuals with ASD will have effective interventions, services, and supports throughout their lifetime
The Autism Speaks website concedes that to achieve these outcomes require the help of communities nationwide and globally. To do so, Autism Speaks will require new types of organizational growth to increase scientific progress, which requires investment in people, processes, and infrastructure.
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