Sullivan, over on LBRB, recently blogged about a new program targeting autistic adults at Boston's MGH hospital. This program has been made possible by a generous endowment from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation. According to the article,
Her (Nancy Lurie Marks) gift to Mass. General will pay for a range of new specialists and programs, including an electronic patient data repository for research, adult neurologists, social workers to help adults find work and housing, and a communication program to evaluate children and adults for devices such as computers that produce speech when a patient types on a keyboard. Bauman, who founded the hospital’s multidisciplinary LADDERS program for children with autism, will become the MGH Distinguished Scholar in Autism, an endowed position, as part of the gift.
I had never heard of this foundation before, so I went to their website. There I found that the organization had been around since 1977, and according to the "About NLMF" section,
The primary mission of the Nancy Lurie Marks (NLM) Family Foundation is to help people with autism lead fulfilling and rewarding lives. The Foundation is committed to understanding autism from a scientific perspective, increasing opportunities and services available to the autism community and educating the public about autism.
When they're not supporting research and services to autistic individuals, the foundation has also sponsored documentaries such as "Autism is a World" and "Voices of Vision: Quality of Life for People with Disabilities: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion".
Now, this organization probably isn't perfect. Not everyone would be in favor of everything they do. Some of their research money supports genetic investigations, and some of their money has gone to support investigations using ABA type therapy. But in going through their website, what is notable is what is NOT there. No movies moaning how horrible living with someone with autism is. And no hedging regarding vaccines, mercury, or whatever other voodoo people want to ascribe autism to.
In fact, the overall impression I get from reading through the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation website is that we've regressed as a society since 1977. Because evidently back then people set up foundations that respected individuals and wanted to work to help them succeed, as opposed to more recent times when people set up organizations to create "awareness" of how miserable autistics' lives are, and to support all of the non-scientific voodoo out there to "cure" autism.