My name is Meghana Shetty and I had the privilege of interning at OAR for 6 months- it was an incredibly fulfilling experience! I came to OAR hoping to learn how scientific research is translated into practical resources for real people- years of volunteer work with autism taught me how tricky it can be for families to find reliable resources for their loved ones. OAR's unique mission to “use applied science to answer the questions that parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers, and caregivers confront daily” immediately jumped out to me. In addition to funding applied research projects at top autism research institutions, OAR develops thoughtful, research-based resources catered to the diverse range of issues (and individuals!) in the autism community. The dedicated staff collaborates with influential autism professionals to ensure useful and credible information is available for those who need it. As an intern, I was allowed to contribute directly to several projects such as Schoolhouse Outreach, the college resource, and the research grant competition . In the process, I learned a great deal about nonprofit work, resource development, national outreach, and the current state of autism research. I also learned how highly regarded OAR is by the professionals, fundraisers, and families who work with them and benefit from their work. It was a pleasure working with OAR's caring and dedicated staff and I would proudly encourage anyone in the autism community to check them out!
The Organization for Autism Research plays an important role in advancing research by funding a variety of projects that impact the daily lives of individuals with autism and their families. Their support for our project about youth transitioning out of high school is helping to shed light on where young people need more support as they navigate the challenging shift into adulthood. Their numerous resources are also a big help for families!
I had the amazing pleasure of working with OAR earlier this year. Not only am I so impressed with the work that they do on a daily basis for Autism research and fundraising, but the caliber of their staff... having had an inside perspective, they are truly a "practice what you preach" organization. The team's dedication, passion and spirit was evident every time we spoke- I can't wait to see how they continue to serve and grow.
My name is Alex Klusman, and I am one of the applicants who applied for the Schwallie Family Scholarship. When I received a call in August from the Executive Director of OAR to tell me that I was awarded the scholarship, I was extremely proud! OAR has been an excellent nonprofit organization. Everyone in the OAR program has been extremely helpful. They were always reliable when I needed assistance with the application process. They explained everything in thorough detail step by step. They were excellent with answering all of my phone calls and replying back to me through email. The OAR committee even kept me posted through email when they were going through the process of selecting applicants for the Schwallie Family Scholarship, and telling selected applicants what documents they had to post. I am extremely impressed with how helpful and reliable the OAR committee has been. I have had to face the challenges with autism throughout my life, I am proud to support OAR. They have exceeded my expectations in every way possible.
My name is Ed Klusman. My experience with OAR has been fantastic. I first became acquainted with OAR as a father of a son with autism. My son Alex is a junior at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. We found out about OAR through the disability office at Oakland. They suggested that Alex might qualify for a scholarship through OAR, in this case the Schwallie Family Scholarship. We looked it up on the OAR website, and then contacted the organization. Everyone at OAR was great, friendly, helpful, and professional. Wendy McKinnon was such a great help, and answered so many questions for both Alex and I. Alex was excited to apply, and to write the essays about the challenges he has faced, school plans, accomplishments, and future plans. The support from OAR staff was exceptional through out the process. Alex was so proud when he was informed that he was one of the students awarded the scholarship. OAR is an outstanding organization, and has my familie's gratitude. We will be ongoing supporters of OAR and the incredible work they do. Keep up the great work!
OAR is a phenomenal organization, one that focuses on autism research that will prove useful to individuals on the spectrum and their families in the real world. Thanks to OAR's generosity, I am currently conducting a study on outcomes for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that will provide insights into what is happening in the community "once the big yellow bus stops coming." Beyond funding research that makes a difference, OAR reaches out to families and service providers, offering insightful materials that I, as a professor, have often shared with colleagues, students, and families. I especially recommend the "Life Journey Through Autism" series!
Our son was awarded a scholarship from OAR. This nonprofit is investing in young adults who are not able to attend a regular university but desire a collegiate experience. Scholarships for this sector of society are almost nonexistant. They were helpful during the application process. The Executive Director called my son personally to congratulate him on being selected. We are so blessed by their support.
We are thrilled to work with OAR and to be able to share their incredible resources with our families. We are grateful to them for partnering with us on our major two-day conference in Cleveland, and for all the incredible work that they are doing to serve the autism community.
OAR is an invaluable resource for individuals on the autism spectrum as well as their families and community supporters. The organization emphasizes scientific research, benefiting people with autism, their families, therapists, etc, and helping fund researchers in need of support when studying what resources are effective. OAR provided funding for my dissertation research project in which I am analyzing the effects of a parent training course that is designed to reduce stress. Due to OAR's support, parents in the Washington, D.C. area were able to receive eight weeks of training for free. Additionally, I would not have been able to begin an ambitious project as a young researcher without their generosity and continued support. I hope to eventually turn this research project into a community resource, and that would not be a possibility without OAR's initial funding. The people who comprise OAR are wonderful to work with as well. Everyone at the organization is dedicated, positive, encouraging, extremely helpful, and kind.
I interned at OAR last year and it was an all-around great experience. Members of the organization are knowledgeable, professional, and truly care about the cause. Furthermore, they are in tune with the needs of the autism community and are always open to feedback. The resources OAR provides are accessible and informative, and the research they fund is high-quality. During my internship I saw first-hand how many lives are impacted by OAR. I proud to say that I worked for this amazing organization!