Director’s message: Tell a friend

As I’m sure many of you know, April is Autism Awareness Month or, if you prefer, Autism Acceptance Month. Because of much coverage in various forms of media, the characteristics of autism are becoming more familiar to the general public and acceptance and accommodation of autistic individuals is improving. One area that has not received much attention is the value of brain research as a step toward decreasing disability in autism. In particular, the value of studying donated postmortem brain tissue. Autism BrainNet believes that by working with investigators around the world who are using donated tissue for state-of-the-art research, new targets for treatment will be found.

Since its inception in 2014, Autism BrainNet has received over 300 donations of brains from autistic and nonautistic individuals. Many of these donations come from Medical Examiners or Organ Procurement Organizations who have been recruited by our excellent outreach team to contribute to our cause. While several donations have come directly from families who have heard about Autism BrainNet and believe in its mission, we can’t help but think that we have not yet sufficiently brought our message to the larger population of families that have an autistic member. So, in this month of autism awareness, I am asking you to “tell a friend” about Autism BrainNet. If you are autistic and wish to donate your brain to research, talk about your decision to your autistic friends and colleagues. If you are the family member of an autistic individual and are reading this newsletter, please be an ambassador for Autism BrainNet and tell your acquaintances about our program.

Representatives from Autism BrainNet would always be willing to talk at meetings that are attended by families of autistic individuals. There is substantial information on our website. Our staff would be happy to send you informational brochures to distribute at your organizations. And, our number 877-333-0999 is always available in case of an immediate donation or if you need more information.