UPDATE: We're pleased to add Russ Levine, VP of Digital Production for NHL.com to our supporters liist
This year marks the third 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. This 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 Shonda and Curt Schilling, who is our featured interview this month, 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 see Fenway Park to Be Lit Up on Eve of 4/1 for "Light It Up Blue").
Autism Speaks is also granting space for a guest article by Maury Brown on their website next week which will give some further insight into how it touches not only him personally, but how autism reaches across every spectrum of life. (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.
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
The following information is provided by Autism Speaks:
Did you know ...
- Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys
- Autism prevalence figures are growing
- More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
- Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
- Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade
- Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
- Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
- There is no medical detection or cure for autism
Prevalence vs. Private Funding
- Leukemia: Affects 1 in 1,200 / Funding: $277 million
- Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 100,000 / Funding: $162 million
- Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 300 / Funding: $394 million
- Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $156 million
- Autism: Affects 1 in 110 / Funding: $79 million
National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation
- Total 2009 NIH budget: $35.9 billion
- Of this, only $196 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.5% of total NIH funding.
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, for more details.
Populous (Stadium and Global Design)
Sports Management Worldwide
Triple-A Portland Beavers of the PCL
Portland Timbers FC of the USL, soon to be MLS
Oregon Sports Authority
Sports Business Radio
Sports and Entertainment Endorsers
- Matt Kemp (Outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Peter Gammons (MLB Network, MLB.com, NESN)
- 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)
- Gordon Edes (ESPNBoston.com)
- Peter Abraham (Boston Globe)
- Chuck Greenberg (Pittsburgh sports attorney)
- Jim Duquette (Sirius/XM Radio MLB Home Plate, 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 (Baseball Prospectus)
- 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)
- 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)
- Todd Radom (Graphic artist, sports logo creator)
- 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
- Pat Courtney (MLB VP Public Relations)
- Mike Dilorenzo (NHL spokesperson)
- Jason Rosenberg (It’s About the Money, Stupid blog)
- Jason Collette (DockoftheRays.com)
- Joe Siegler (RangerFans.com)
- Gary Armida (Full Count Pitch blog)
- Jeff Levine (Business of Sports Network)
- Pete Toms (Business of Sports Network)
Click to donate
to Autism Speaks
The Biz of Baseball is part of the Business of Sports Network. For details on our interviews, latest new on MLB, the NFL, the NBA,and the NHL from outside the lines, check www.businessofsportsnetwork.com for information and links to the Network's sites.
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook