Mission: Since 1990, TARF has been seeking to expand and accelerate research into the pervasive developmental disorders by studying the neuropathology of autism in our own laboratories, informing the autistic community of the need for brain donations in order to expand the present understanding of these disorders, collecting and redistributing brain tissue for use by research projects, bringing researchers from a variety of fields together to share and exploring new avenues of research at Autism Think Tanks. We are also educating parents, teachers and other professionals about the neurobiological foundations of autism through brochures, conferences and our Web site.
I started volunteering for The Autism Research Foundation when I was in college because I wanted to understand autism science. TARF's research coordinator, Jerry, walked me through the lab and explained the brain research to me in such a clear, concise way. Even though I wasn't a scientist, I felt like I could have a conversation with Jerry. He taught me how to explain the autism research to families, professionals, and other students like me. It was an invaluable experience that I now share with the new volunteers and families we help! Through Jerry, TARF demonstrated a commitment to making autism approachable and interesting, which makes me feel confident in helping TARF fundraise for its continued work. I know I will volunteer for as long as I can!