Accomplishments: 2009

Current Accomplishments

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides real help for children with autism and their families.  We educate, empower, support and connect families with the resources they need to secure the best possible future for their children.

Our 2009 accomplishments include the following:

  1. TACA was founded November 2000 in Orange County, California with 10 families meeting in the Ackerman living room. In 2009, TACA provided support to more than 15,000 families affected by autism. Each month we are adding almost 400 new families.  In addition to these numbers our Friends of TACA now number close to 4,000.

  2. TACA continues to provide 95% of program services at no cost to families.

  3. TACA launched new chapters in Arizona, Alabama, California, Indiana, Maryland/Washington DC, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, & Wisconsin. TACA now has 28 chapters across the United States providing support for families. Last year TACA held more than 250 educational and support meetings at no cost to the participants.

  4. In January TACA held its third annual Leadership Conference for approximately 80 key volunteers from 21 states.  Volunteers were trained on best practices and how to represent our mission and programs in their local communities.

  5. TACA trained staff and volunteers responded to more than 2,000 phone calls and 4,500 e-mails from families across the country seeking support.

  6. Live Chat aided more than 1,500 separate instant message support requests throughout the year through our website.

  7. TACA distributed 3,250 free Autism Journey Guides and more than a quarter of a million “My Child has Autism” business cards to families at TACA meetings.  The updated Journey Guide, now it is 5th revision, stands at over 350 pages to provide families with best practices for their journey.

  8. Good News for Kids Recognition of your support - 2008

  9. A Childs Place Learning Center- award of appreciation, for many contributions made toward the success of the center- 2008

  10. TACA released Autism Journey Blueprints – visual tools to help families plan their journey.

  11. TACA held its 7th Annual Real Help Now conference with close to 300 attendees and six nationally known speakers including Jerry Kartzinel, MD, Cindy Schneider, MD, Doris Rapp, MD, Koren Barrett, MD, Timothy Adams, Esq., and parents Lynne Arnold, Michael and Moira Giammatteo.

  12. TACA took part in 61 national and local media articles on our organization and autism-related issues.

  13. TACA partnered in the Autism Collaboration, a collection of organizations dedicated to parent-driven research and other united efforts.

  14. In addition to the TACA USA national Yahoo Group, TACA expanded its online presence to include a Facebook cause page with more than 29,000 members, and Twitter updates.

  15. TACA conducted 261 mentor introductions as a means for new families to obtain support and guidance from an experienced and trained TACA family. With nearly 200 mentors TACA held more than 18 mentor training events. TACA currently provides mentoring in seven languages.

  16. TACA was present at eight national conferences where mentors were on hand to provide one-on-one support to more than 8,000 attendees.

  17. TACA held five Autism Journey Seminars geared specifically for families at the beginning of their journey.

  18. Through its partnership in AutismCares, TACA provided financial assistance to 40 Families in Crisis to cover emergency needs. Nine additional families were provided with treatment scholarships through the TACA Family Scholarship program. Forty families were provided assistance through existing TACA resources, Autism Angel services, and other programs.

  19. For the 2009 holiday season our Adopt-a-Family Holiday Campaign helped 176 families in need from across the U.S. up from 75 families in 2008.  In total, 712 received holiday cheer and support from TACA.

  20. TACA is a founding sponsor of Age of Autism and for the past three years has supported the nation's only daily autism web news alternative.

  21. In a difficult economy, TACA increased fundraising by more than 9% over the previous year. Unfortunately expenses increased exponentially due to assistance requested by families in these difficult economic times.

  22. Almost $400,000 in expenses were offset via in kind donations of products and services for families affected by autism. Donations also helped defer fundraising costs through products and services.

  23. In 2009, TACA received a continuation grant from Pacific Life Foundation to provide three new programs for families.

    Spanish-language community outreach:  translated parent support materials available in print and on the website; parent support and educational meetings in Spanish; outreach at three Spanish language conferences; translation services in conjunction with attorney/legal advocate for Latino families; and outreach into the Latino communities to provide information on TACA services.

    Advocacy: provided education seminars to 126 people, 33 individual meetings, 183 phone consults, 84 emails, and 5 in depth support for families navigating the autism journey through TACA’s special education attorney.

    Scholarships:  TACA underwrote four independent assessments to families of children affected by autism.

  24. The relationship with 93.1 Jack FM radio now in its fourth year resulted in frequent public service announcements on autism and TACA. Jack’s Fourth Show, a concert benefiting TACA, raised almost $30,000 and the Inaugural Jack Open Golf Classic raised an additional $40,000.

  25. TACA was also awarded $30,000 from Buchanan Street Children’s charities through a matching grant that was supported by friends of the Orange County Community Foundation.

  26. In 2009 TACA held a variety of special events; the much cherished annual events were joined by some new to the organization. TACA’s 7th Annual Family Picnic was a huge success with over 1,500 attendees; the 3rd Annual Orange County Ante Up event was joined by an Ante Up held in Phoenix AZ that celebrated the world of Major League Baseball. This year TACA was the beneficiary of the TBigT and Ingram Micro Golf Tournaments and we held our inaugural Walka for TACA. All in all TACA held or was the beneficiary of over 20 special events.

  27. TACA expanded its outreach through relationships with other organizations and this year participated in a variety of collaborative events:  An Evening for Autism (held in conjunction with Easter Seals and ASA), A Ride for Autism (Autism Speaks & ASA), Down for Life (Ryan Sheckler Foundation), Santa Ana Country Club Golf Tournament and fundraiser, Huntington Beach Police Officers Association, Inland Empire 66’ers, LA Galaxy, Anaheim Ducks, and more here!

  28. Our website received more than 700,000 visits with more than 22 million pages of support and information provided to users (almost 50 new feature articles were added to the website).

  29. TACA educated and updated members and foundation friends with over 50 e-newsletters & two printed newsletters each with a circulation of more than 19,000.

  30. We continued to educate and update with articles published in Autism File, Spectrum Magazine, and on a variety of blogs.

  31. In collaboration with Howcast – launched a new video: "How to help a child with autism" to educate families and friends.

  32. Kirkman 2009 Humanitarians of the year Glen and Lisa Ackerman

  33. Autism Awareness efforts this past year included:

    Family & Friends campaign which ran April thru June

    Autism Awareness days were hosted by the following:  Santa Monica High School (Sept), Chick-fil-A Autism Day (April), LA Galaxy and IE66ers Autism Awareness Days, 93.1 Jack FM PSAs, Jack’s Fourth Concert  and the Jack Open Golf Classic, HBPOA Golf Tournament, Anaheim Ducks event, the Volcom shirt, partnerships with United Stationers, employee giving campaigns with Microsoft and SCE, and Buchanan Street’s Challenge for the Children

    Festival of Children outreach and education that ran month long in September

  34. The Passkeys Foundation / Ethical Edge awarded Executive Director Lisa Ackerman with a Social & Community Leaders of Integrity Award.

  35. Military outreach continued via relationships with the Marine Corps Exceptional Family Member Programs at Camp Pendleton, MCAS Miramar, and MCRD San Diego.

  36. Over 500 books and DVDs were added to the TACA chapter libraries.

For additional information please contact us.