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Autism in the Community - Research, Programs, Education, Wandering, & More

  • Broadcast in Health
Chief Gene Saunders

Chief Gene Saunders


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The mission of the National Autism Association (NAA) is to educate and empower families affected by autism and other neurological disorders, while advocating on behalf of those who cannot fight for their own rights. They educate society that autism is not a lifelong incurable genetic disorder but one that is biomedically definable and treatable. The NAA also encourages those in the autism community to never give up in their search to help their loved ones reach their full potential, funding efforts toward this end through appropriate research for finding a cure for the neurological damage from which so many affected by autism suffer. The guest speaker for this broadcast is Wendy Fournier - President of the NAA. After several years in the promotional products industry, Wendy founded a home-based web development company that allowed her to have a career in web design and be a full-time Mom. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism, doctors gave her little hope. She began to research treatment options via the internet, where she discovered that there is indeed a great deal of hope - autism is treatable. Wendy is committed to changing the perspective of autism from what was once considered a mysterious mental illness to a biologically definable and treatable medical disorder. She attends and speaks at conferences throughout the US. She works closely with non-profit organizations on a state and national level and runs a support group for parents of children on the spectrum. Wendy currently serves on the RI State Commission to study the education of children with autism, as a consumer reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Autism Research through the U.S. Department of Defense, and is a founding board member of the Gottschall Autism Center. Wendy and her husband Paul live in Rhode Island with their three children.