Autism Speaks is a charity dedicated to raising money for autism research into the causes and treatment of autism. In just its first year it has raised around $40 million. The organisation has received lots of mainstream television coverage as well as featuring on packets of Kellog’s breakfast cereals. This high profile may be to with the founders, Suzanne and Bob Wright who were inspired by their grandson was diagnoses with autism. Bob is the vice chairman of GE and chairman and CEO of NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News.
The money raised by Autism Speaks is directed into a range of research projects. They vary from developing realtime monitoring of body-rocking and hand-flapping in autistic children to understanding the genetic basis of autism. One thing Autism Speaks is not researching is the role of mercury or chelation in Autism. They have a very sensible statement on the role of mercury in autism.