Community Partner of the Month: Autism Speaks

ASpeaks1Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness.

ASpeaks2This past June, Autism Speaks announced that it has appointed Larissa Kerstetter to the newly created position of Manager of Field Development for Southern California. Larissa Kerstetter’s previous position was as Development Director for the ALS Association’s Greater San Diego Chapter. She left successful corporate positions in the telecom and tech industries when her son – who was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) – was being mainstreamed from special ed to general ed.

ASpeaks3“I am excited to have Larissa Kerstetter on board to oversee Autism Speaks’ activities in San Diego,” said Suzette Martinez, Executive Director of Autism Speaks Southern California. “Her responsibilities will include overseeing Autism Speaks Walk San Diego, (held October 1st), as well as other community events in the Greater San Diego area.”

This October 1st, over 4,000 people are expected to participate in Autism Speaks Walk San Diego 2016 to raise funds and awareness for the over 10,000 San Diegans on the autism spectrum. It will feature a 3.1 mile rolling start walk, kid-friendly activities, live performances and a Resource Fair with over 50 community vendors.

ASpeaks4To learn more about how you can be involved, please contact:
Larissa Kerstetter
Autism Speaks
Phone: (619) 318-7424

To register or learn more about the walk:
To learn more about Autism Speaks: