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  • Writer's pictureThe SOF Team

The Organization for Autism Research: helping children with autism and their families

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

OAR does more than accept donations for research–they help individuals impacted by autism change their lives

Image source: Otsimo

Many corporate sponsorships go beyond facilitating partnerships by helping communities in need. Companies and businesses do this either by donating their time and money or through events and programs. These corporate sponsorships are passionate about their work and aim to make a difference in the lives that need it most. One corporate sponsorship that goes above and beyond would be Organization for Autism Research (OAR).

Who is OAR?

OAR, or Organization for Autism Research, is an organization founded and headed by parents and close families of children with autism. They serve as the Board of Directors, providing leadership based on their own life experiences. Companies that have partnered with OAR through corporate sponsorship and event sponsorship in support of their effort would be those such as Magnate Worldwide, Synchrony, and One Hope.

The Organization for Autism Research also consists of a Scientific Council of 16 autism experts and professionals dedicated to the OAR mission and research direction. These individuals share their professional expertise with the OAR leaders and review the merits of all research grant applications.

While the Board and Scientific Council are the leaders of the establishment, the true heart of OAR is the staff––a team of 7 people who work to aid the organization’s mission and see-through specific hands-on projects.

Lastly, the Organization for Autism Research consists of the autism community it serves and draws strength, support, and inspiration.

How does OAR help the autism community?

OAR aims to help not only those children and young adults with autism but also their families and support systems. They provide many resources for families and loved ones, such as publishing a series of practical, evidence-based guidebooks, maintaining targeted, supportive websites, offering scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students, and providing resources specifically for military families impacted by autism. Guidebooks include a guide to safety, navigating the special education system, a transition guide to adulthood, and an educator’s guide to autism.

Image Source: OAR

In an effort to dismantle precedents that young adults with autism cannot go to college, OAR offers two scholarships for autistic individuals pursuing post-secondary education and professional development. The Post-secondary Scholarship provides $3,000 for autistic students in two- or four-year colleges; life skills or post-secondary programs; or vocational, technical, or trade schools. The Synchrony Tech Careers Scholarship offers $500-$5,000 grants to support autistic adults interested in pursuing career skills development opportunities in the technology sector.

Image Source: Exrulila

They provide resources for self-advocates with autism, such as resources about navigating high school, college, employment, and sex education. In addition, the OAR website offers resources to help those with autism search for jobs that are the right fit for them.

In a similar effort to establish that those with autism are capable of holding jobs, OAR has an employment initiative called Hire Autism, and it is a free program dedicated to helping individuals with autism find employment opportunities across the U.S. It supports job seekers through the job search process with resources such as step-by-step resume, cover letter, job search, and job application guides, free resume/cover letter reviews or interview practice sessions with seasoned professionals, an autism-friendly employer jobs portal, and additional career exploration and job search resources.

OAR also provides resources to help support siblings of children with autism and educate them on the condition to assist their siblings better. OAR’s “Autism Sibling Support” initiative guides young children, teenagers, and parents to productively address the ups and downs that may arise for those who have a sibling with autism.

Image Source: Metatdgt

How can you help OAR?

OAR offers six opportunities for those to support their cause: donation, volunteering, fundraising, running in their “Run for Autism,” buying from their AmazonSmile’s shop, and partnering with their organization. Their partnership programs consist of sponsorship opportunities, corporate sponsorship, and cause marketing. OAR also offers the opportunity for individuals interested in joining their team and working for them.



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