The Autism Research Foundation is the first medically-accredited autism research nonprofit organization, founded by pioneering autism researcher Dr. Margaret Bauman.
Dr. Bauman was the first researcher to discover the anatomical differences between a typical brain and a brain with autism. Her discovery demonstrated for the first time that autism was related to abnormalities of brain development and not to poor parenting. Until her discovery, autism had actually been blamed on the “refrigerator mother” – a term that suspected the child’s disability was a result of his/her parent’s emotional coldness. Can you imagine?
At the time of Dr. Bauman’s findings, funding for pioneering autism research did not exist. Dr. Bauman wanted to ensure that important, trailblazing research — like hers — was never delayed because of a lack of funding.
In 1990, Dr. Bauman’s innovative foresight led to the creation of The Autism Research Foundation (TARF): the first medically-credited autism research non-profit organization.
TARF began as a funding reserve for brain-based autism research, and over the past 22 years, TARF has grown as an information authority in the autism community.
The Foundation achieved this authority by regularly addressing the changing needs of its community. Noticing that parents needed answers to their child’s autism diagnosis in an approachable science capacity, TARF began the Current Trends in Autism Conference: an annual two-day event that brings parents and professionals together to learn from each other and distinguished leaders in autism education, therapy, medicine, lifestyle, and research.
The TARF team networks with parents, teachers, researchers, and caregivers throughout the CTIA conference and others throughout the year to learn the best ways to help everyone understand and appreciate autism.
From this effort, The Autism Research Foundation achieves community consciousness and autism appreciation through its research, awareness, inclusion, fundraising, family support and conference programs across New England. This year, The Foundation expanded its mission to include innovative inclusion programs like Athletes 4 Autism, Michael’s Place, and Art 4 Autism.
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