Cure Autism Now Online Charity

cure autism now

The Cure Autism Now Foundation (CAN) – an online resource and community

Full Review

The Cure Autism Now Foundation (CAN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and funding autism research and accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward effective treatments and a cure. The organization is one of the largest private funders of biological research in autism, providing more than $18 million for research grants, outreach and scientific resources since its inception in 1995 “

Perhaps you have noticed one of the Cure Autism Now (CAN) posters displayed on the hit television show, E.R. or know someone who is participating in a Walk Now event being held in several major metropolitan cities across the country. I look to the Cure Autism Now Foundation as a leader in the research field of autism. The site offers many ways for visitors to become involved in local events to promote awareness and raise funds and to participate in clinical studies, donate, become a corporate partner and more.

Cure Autism Now Foundation created AGRE – The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange to advance genetic research in autism spectrum disorders. “ Blood samples and clinical data are obtained from families that have more than one child diagnosed with autism, PDD or Asperger's syndrome. These samples, along with the accompanying clinical data, are readily available to AGRE-approved researchers.” My family has been involved with AGRE for five years now. Last month each child’s teacher and myself filled out observation forms for a social responsive study through AGRE. This past week I did the phone interview for each of my children for the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Rating Scale. “ Cure Autism Now provides significant funding for AGRE. Recent grant support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will further support family recruitment and data collection.”

I started the New Year off by creating a profile for both my sons on the autism spectrum. This involves making a web page about the child and uploading a photo for the gallery. This gallery sorts the photos in alphabetical order according to the first name of the child. You can use an initial for the last name if you prefer. There are a few steps to follow before this process can be completed.

You get to choose a user name and password to enter the data and update profiles, as well as create the web page. There is a limit to three children per family and the person completing the data can be a friend or other relative besides the parent. The options in the drop-down box are – brother, daughter, friend, granddaughter, grandson, nephew, niece, other, sister and son. I suppose if you’re a teenager and want your photo listed you could enter your own data and choose other since self does not appear to be an option at this time.

Then you input the first name, middle initial and last name. These are the only required fields. For medical condition the choices are – Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, No Diagnosis, Other, PDD/NOS. The birthday is entered with month/day and year. The box to add the image to the gallery has a browse button and then the box for making a web page. You do have the option to either cancel or submit this data.

You will receive a confirmation email with your user name and password. Once this has completed you can click on my profile at the bottom of the Cure Autism Now Foundation website that is located at www.cureautismnow.org. You will be prompted to input your user name and password. The profile consists of account information that includes email address, name and address and phone number.

There is also a button to edit profile for Loved Ones With Autism. When you have created the web page for each child then you can view the summary, edit work and spouse information as well as personal information. There is also an option to view other web pages that were created for children. I noticed that many of the pages were written by the adult, with background details on when the child was diagnosed and what type of therapies they receive. Other web pages are written in the child’s voice. On the bottom of all pages are several links, including Community Gallery where you can view these pages. Some of them also have a photo besides the one in the children’s gallery.

The rules for posting a summary include no advertising or advocacy. I have seen others post email addresses for helping others out. The page is made public immediately with no profanity or inappropriate postings. “The purpose of this feature is to help build the Cure Autism Now online community.” Cure Autism Now reserves the right to edit or remove all postings.” Each page has a title and there is no limit to the number of words in the summary.

Also located at the bottom section are links to – Government Affairs, Chapters, Research, Calendar, Store, Search, About, Home, Contact and My Profile. The right hand column has

Autism Resources - Your Autism Information Portal on the Web. Here visitors can learn through Understanding Autism, Treating Autism, Autism and Education, Research Funding and Diagnosing Autism. Through these links there are more links to gain insight into what causes autism and if it is Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism and a Brief History of Autism.

When viewing these pages there is one more option to follow with Experts with a drop down menu for States to get resources for speech therapists, diagnostic services, psychologists and more choices depending on the State you research. For example California lists the clinic my son has been attending for sixteen plus months. The information shows the address and phone number and the option for adding a review or comment on the resources specified in this area.

The comment/review section is visible as well with the option to preview ahead of time. “Your user name and everything you type will be immediately visible to the public. You will not be able to edit your comments after you submit them. The purpose of this interactive feature is to help other site visitors like yourself.” First you will share a bit about yourself, like are you the parent and what age is the child, then was this resource helpful to you and why. After I posted my review there was no indication that it was visible since the page returned to the prior page before I clicked on to submit a review.

At the top portion of the Cure Autism Now Foundation website is an option to sign in or log out, donate, contact and enewsletter. To subscribe to the Connections newsletter you will need to register or log into your account. The Connections newsletter is very informative with information pertaining to current events, research and development.

There are sections of the site that are coming soon. This includes under Government Affairs the policy statement and bills and a section entitled Cure Autism Now Heroes. Since April is Autism Awareness Month with The Los Angeles Walk Now taking place Saturday, April 17th at Dodger Stadium and other cities thereafter, it is disappointing that the site is not completely pulled together. There are a few obvious typographical errors on the site as well.

Donating can be done online. “ Cure Autism Now is a California non-profit corporation. Contributions are tax deductible within IRS regulations.” The options for worksite giving include The United Way, Matching Gifts and the Combined Federal Campaign. For United Way Cure Autism Now Foundation falls into the write-in category.

Around the holiday season visitors will find holiday cards at the online store along with the coffee mugs ($15), t-shirts, window decal, jackets, a watch ($175), beach towel ($25) and other high priced ticket items. There is an additional ten-dollar charge for international orders. California residents have the 8.25% sales tax as well. I have not purchased from the site since I attend the yearly Walk Now function at Dodger Stadium and the headquarters are in Los Angeles. I do have a few of their t-shirts that I received from AGRE and will be purchasing note cards this weekend at the Walk Now event.

I visit the Cure Autism Now Foundation website often to view the gallery of children posted and to check out clinical studies and research the events in my area. Members will have their data already filled out when they arrive at the checkout. The credit card options are Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Customers will need to input the security code from their credit card.

The Calendar section displays current and future events across the country. This area does not offer individual State listings. The Chapters section has the home page to each and information on how to start your own chapter and form events. The Walk Now details for each city are listed with information on how you can volunteer and donate. A resource fair is part of the Walk Now festivities that includes fun for children with moon bouncers, arts and crafts in a carnival-like atmosphere. Last year there were about five of those bouncing contraptions with lines waiting to enter. The parents can obtain resources from therapists, educational settings and recreational organizations.

It would be nice if in the future The Cure Autism Now Foundation website had the capacity of inputting data for research participants, as well as a page to view the results with scores of tests taken.

My one complaint with the Los Angeles Walk Now is that I have not seen one commercial for this event and considering that KABC7 is a sponsor makes it even more disappointing as a resident. I live in the vicinity of Dodger Stadium and the professionals in the area who work within the autism community were not even aware of this event taking place. I think in order to spread autism awareness the organizations that receive funding to help in this capacity need to advertise these events to the general public, as well as those who serve within the community.

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