This year marks the forth annual Autism Awareness Campaign launched by the Business of Sports Network. Each year, we reach out and ask that for a few moments sports is set aside in favor of spreading the word about the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as it is developmental disorder that is reaching alarm levels bordering on epidemic. As we did last year, we have reached out to the sports and entertainment community to help lend support. In doing so, we have seen individuals that simply wish to help, but also those that are touched directly by autism. Be it the granddaughter of Seattle Mariners President Chuck Armstrong who has autism, Dodgers’ outfield Matt Kemp who has a brother with autism, actress Alyssa Milano who also has been directly touched by the developmental disorder, or Ryan and Dawn Neufeld, in reaching out to the community we have seen just how far reaching autism is.
With today being the beginning of International Autism Awareness Month, all the Business of Sports Network sites have been rebranded to remind you about this campaign, and within each post this month, we will be providing a link to Autism Speaks for those that wish to donate to assist in funding research on autism. We have also partnered with Autism Speaks to help promote their efforts, such as the “Light It Up Blue” campaign.
For more on how autism touches Brown's life see Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown Speaks on Fatherhood and Autism
The main point of the autism awareness campaign is for you to spread the word, and reach a better understanding of the developmental disorder.
Here is how the Autism Society of America describes autism:
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.
In December 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 110 births in the United States and almost 1 in 70 boys. The issuance of this report caused a media uproar, but the news was not a surprise to the Autism Society or to the 1.5 million Americans living with the effects of autism spectrum disorder. Nonetheless, the spotlight shown on autism as a result of the prevalence increase opens opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve these families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.
Currently, the Autism Society estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism (this figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, in addition to related therapeutic services and caregiver costs).
Know the Signs: Early Identification Can Change Lives
Autism is treatable. Children do not "outgrow" autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.
Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of interest in peer relationships
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
IF YOU ARE WITHIN THE MEDIA, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN THE CAMPAIGN, AS WELL AS AUTISM SPEAKS EFFORTS. LINK OR REPURPOSE THIS MATERIAL TO HELP THE CAUSE.
The following have lent their name in saying they support autism awareness, if you wish to be added to the list, please contact Maury Brown, president of the Business of Sports Network via email (MauryATbusinessofsportsnetworkDOTcom), for more details.
Populous (Stadium and Global Design)
Sports Management Worldwide
Portland Timbers of MLS
Oregon Sports Authority
Sports Business Radio
Sports and Entertainment Endorsers
- Allan Walsh - NHL player agent, Octagon
- Martin Havlat - Right Wing, Minnesota Wild
- Matt Kemp (Outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Peter Gammons (MLB Network, MLB.com, NESN)
- John Thorn - Author, Official Historian Major League Baseball
- Chuck Armstrong (President, Seattle Mariners)
- Larry Cancro (Senior Vice President of Fenway Affairs for the Boston Red Sox. Also Chairman of Autism Speaks, New England. Board member Melmark, New England a school that specializes in autism and similar cognitive disabilities)
- Jim Trotter - Senior NFL writer, Sports Illustrated
- Sean Foreman - President, Sports Reference, LLC
- Ken Davidoff - National baseball writer, Newsday
- Kathy Conners - Principal & Founder KMC Consulting
- Doug Farrar - Writer for Football Outsiders, Yahoo! Sports, Sportspress Northwest and The Washington Post
- Scott Jackson - Host of Last Call on Sporting News Radio, Co-Host of The Brian Mitchell Show on 1067 The Fan DC and SBNation DC Columnist
- Lou Imbriano - CEO at TrinityOne Sports & Professor of Sports Marketing at Boston College. Former CMO of the New England Patriots & 2011 McGraw-Hill Author
- Gordon Edes - ESPNBoston.com
- Peter Abraham - Boston Globe
- Chuck Greenberg - Former owner Texas Rangers, sports attorney
- Jim Duquette - Sirius/XM Radio MLB Network Radio, former GM Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets
- David Kahn - President, Basketball Operations, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Victor Rojas - Television play-by-play voice of the LA Angels, formerly with MLB Network
- Will Carroll - SI.com
- Jesse Sanchez - MLB.com
- Devon Teeple - Business of Sports Network
- Jordan Kobritz - Business of Sports Network
- Joe Tetreault - Business of Sports Network
- Alyssa Milano - Television, screen and stage actor
- Ryan and Dawn Neufeld - Ryan is 7-year NFL veteran playing tight-end; Dawn has been featured on VH1's "NFL Wives" , honorary chairs of Dallas Rocks Against Autism
- Dave Goren - Executive Director of National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association & Hall of Fame
- George Atallah - Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs for the NFL Players Association
- Mike Donnelly - Media Coordinator for the NFLPA
- Ken Rosenthal - FOXSports.com, MLB Network
- Dave Sims - Television play-by-play commentator for the Seattle Mariners, radio play-by-play for Sunday Night Football on Westwood One, television play-by-play host for UFL on VERSUS
- Joe Hamrahi - Baseball Daily Digest, Baseball Prospectus
- Richard Justice - Sports columnist, Houston Chronicl
- Todd Radom - Graphic artist, sports logo creator
- Joe Briggs, Esq
- Curt and Shonda Schilling
- Mike Ferrin - Host & Anchor, MLB Network Radio
- Brent Gambill - Executive Producer, MLB Home Plate, Sirius/XM Radio
- Dave Barr - Producer, Sports Talk With Bo Mattingly. KREB 1190 Fayetteville, KTTG ESPN 96.3 FM Ft. Smith, KABZ 103.7 FM Little Rock
- Russ Levine, VP of Digital Production for NHL.com
- Jamie Newberg - NewbergReport.com
- Pat Courtney - MLB VP Public Relations
- Mike Dilorenzo - NHL spokesperson
- Jason Rosenberg - It’s About the Money, Stupid blog
- Jason Collette - DRaysBay.com /BaseballProspectus/Rotowire
- Joe Siegler - RangerFans.com
- Gary Armida - FullCountPitch.com
- Jeff Levine - Business of Sports Network
- Pete Toms - Business of Sports Network
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to Autism Speaks
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