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Fostering the Conversation: You and our Scientists

July 19, 2011 8 comments

Posted by Jessica Snyder Sachs, director of science communications for Autism Speaks

This month has been a tremendously exciting time in autism research, as our blog posts make clear. Naively, I’ve been waiting for a pause in the torrent of news to introduce myself. That’s not looking likely, so allow me to shoehorn a quick intro—and a couple questions for you.

Three weeks ago, I stepped into the newly created position of Autism Speaks’ director of science communications. It’s now my privilege to suds and squeegee your window onto the science that donor dollars are funding. I’ll also be enlisting our science staff to answer your questions and generally provide perspective on some of the splashy—and sometimes confusing—headlines in the national news.

By background, I’m a science journalist and medical writer. For the last 20 years, I’ve been a regular contributor to national magazines such as Discover, Popular Science, Parents, Parenting, and Prevention. I’ve also written a few science books for the general reader, the most recent being Good Germs, Bad Germs.

The science staff at Autism Speaks has always been passionate about communicating with families affected by autism and with everyone who cares about enhancing the lives of the remarkable individuals on the spectrum. I’m here to facilitate their conversation with you—in both directions.

Perhaps you’re a volunteer and want resources that can help you explain the nature and importance of the research we fund. Perhaps you have a child affected by autism and would consider participating in research.  Perhaps you are a parent who is looking forward to answers and new treatment approaches that will help your child.  Or perhaps you are a high-functioning teenager, college student, or other adult on the spectrum and want to know more about studies that relate to you (the link goes to just one example).

In whatever way you’re comfortable, we want to involve you in our scientific mission: To improve the lives of all who struggle with autism. To that end, I’d love your input on some of the new avenues of communication we’re considering. Would you please take a moment to answer our two-question survey? Please feel free to provide additional feedback in the comments section. Thanks!

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