Autism Science Foundation

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Founded: 2009

Mission: The Autism Science Foundation provides funding directly to scientists conducting cutting-edge autism research to discover the causes of autism and develop better treatments. We also provide information about autism to the general public and support the needs of individuals with autism and their families. ASF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Scarsdale, NY


Alison Tepper Singer
Alison Singer is Co-Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, a not for profit organization that funds autism research and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. From 2005-2009 she served as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of Autism Speaks. As the mother of a child with autism and legal guardian of her adult brother with autism, she is a natural advocate. Since 2007, Singer has served on the national Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) which is charged with writing a strategic plan to guide federal spending for autism research. Within the IACC, she serves as co-chair of the safety subcommittee and on the subcommittee for strategic plan review. Singer also currently serves on the Executive Board of the Yale Child Study Center, on the external advisory board of the Autism Baby Siblings Research Consortium, on the external advisory board of the CDC’s Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, on the board of directors of Mental Health News, as a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Immunization Coalition, as a member of the program committee for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) and as chair of the public relations committee for IMFAR. She is hard at work on a book about autism research forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Singer graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Innovative Approach


Innovation / New Solution



Expert Comments

  • This group is only two years old but already is endorsed by the NIH, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association because of its focus on science and evidence based medicine.

  • ASF has had a great contribution to empirically valid information on autism spectrum disorders.

  • The Autism Science Foundation benefits from strong leadership and a fund of knowledge disseminated via the web is current and empirically supported.

  • The organization focuses on evidenced based practices and disseminated empirical information.

  • This group funds outstanding autism research that is totally science based. They are a shining star to those interested in real science and evidence based interventions.

  • We find this group to operate with the highest level of integrity. They also have extremely low overhead. Every dollar possible is put toward autism research.

From the Nonprofit

Alison Singer
Executive Director
Aug 24, 2011
The Autism Science Foundation was founded in 2009 to raise money for critically-needed autism research and to support families raising children with autism. 1 in 110 children is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The CDC, the NIH, and the AAP have all called autism a national public health crisis. We must find out what causes autism and develop better treatments to help individuals with autism reach their full potential.

We are so proud of the fact that we starting funding research in our first year of operations and that we have increased our funding levels each year. In only two years we have funded just under half a million dollars in research grants. Our funds support pre- and postdoctoral fellows who work with established research mentors, investigating the causes of autism and developing new treatments. These grants are already producing results, including a new mouse model of autism and a new intervention strategy that utilizes the recess period at school to work on autistic children’s social skills. The educational programs and conferences we are supporting help disseminate autism research to families and schools so that new findings can be put into practice to help real people. Our quarterly “Science & Sandwiches” program brings small, informal groups of scientists together with parents and individuals with autism to share ideas. Our IMFAR Scholarship Program sends stakeholders like parents, siblings, individuals with autism, special education teachers, student researchers, journalists and others to the International Meeting for Autism Research to meet with leading scientists and share ideas about the pace and relevance of research. It’s critical for these stakeholder groups to work together and share information.

We are so grateful for the incredible support we’ve received from our amazingly dedicated donors, volunteers, board members, social media friends and staff. We are also extremely grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support we’ve gotten from the autism research community, the NIH, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Please visit our website at and learn more about the work we are doing to support individuals with autism and their families.

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