Accomplishments: 2010

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.

COMMUNITY SERVED

1. TACA’s membership grew to over 20,000 families, with on average 500 new families joining monthly (27% increase over 2009).

2. "Friends of TACA" now number close to 5,000.

3. We now have 27 chapters nationwide; including 2 new chapters in Naperville/Oak Park, IL and Boston, MA.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

Ninety-five percent of program services continue to be offered at no cost to families. Read full list of available programs and services.

4. TACA staff and volunteers handled in excess of 2,000 phone calls and 6,500 e-mails from families across the country seeking support.

5. TACA conducted 350 mentor introductions for new families to obtain support and guidance from experienced and trained TACA parents.

6. TACA held 24 mentor training events for 340 mentors (representing eight languages).

7. Our Live Chat provided online responses to over 1,500 separate instant message support requests.

8. TACA provided education and support at over 250 Chapter Meetings, and Coffee Talks provided at no cost to participants.

9. TACA distributed 3,250 free Autism Journey Guides (5th revision) and over 100,000 “My Child has Autism” information cards to families at TACA Chapter Meetings.

10. TACA, through a continuation grant from the Pacific Life Foundation, continued to provide critical programs for families.

a) Spanish Community Outreach & Materials

Continued to transcreate parent support materials in print and online; published the complete Spanish version of the Autism Journey Guide:  “Navegando el Mundo del Autismo;” provided outreach at four conferences; provided translation services in conjunction with the Attorney/Legal Advocate for Spanish-speaking families and monthly outreach into Spanish-speaking communities.  This department answered 327 calls, 632 emails, provided 41 families with in-depth support, and met close to 60 parents at Spanish Coffee Talk meetings.

b) Legal Advocacy Program (Orange County only)

Answered 302 calls and 151 emails, provided legal education seminars to 159 people, and 22 families with in-depth personal support with the assistance of TACA’s Attorney/Legal Advocate throughout 2010.

11. TACA provided enhanced parent education programs including the following:  six Autism Journey Seminars and three Special Education Law Days.

12. TACA provided 17 families with scholarships toward treatment through our Family Scholarship Program.

13. More than 200 copies of books and DVDs were added to TACA Chapter Libraries.

14. TACA adopted 86 families nationwide for the 2010 holiday season; 374 families received gifts of holiday cheer and support from TACA.

15. Hosted an online provider resource directory of over 10,000 autism product & service vendors across the United States.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

16. TACA participated as a member of the Global Autism Collaboration, a collection of organizations dedicated to parent-driven research and other united efforts.

17. Through our partnership in AutismCares, TACA provided financial assistance to 49 families in crisis.

18. TACA was present at 7 national conferences where TACA Mentors were available to provide one-on-one, in-person support to nearly 6,000 attendees.

19. TACA joined the AWAARE Collaboration and distributed the AWAARE materials to families.

20. TACA hosted Book Tours featuring The Autism Book author Dr. Bob Sears (co-sponsored with Nordic Naturals), and The Age of Autism authors Mark Blaxill & Dan Olmstead, and Callous Disregardauthor Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

21.  TACA aided the HollyRod Foundation with distribution of iPads through a donation plus staff support for reviewing approximately over 1600 applications.

22.  TACA provided support to 16 families through Beautiful Son Foundation/TACA scholarships toward medicals costs.

23. TACA launched our Physician Advisory Group featuring Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel and Dr. David Berger to help review new medical information and research, and to educate other physicians about the available treatments for autism.

FUNDRAISING & EVENTS

24. TACA increased fundraising by more than 7% from 2009 despite continuing challenges in the economy.

25. Oakley’s Special Edition TACA Autism sunglasses launched in April 2010 and raised approximately $141,000 through December 31, 2010.

26. The 10 members of TACA’s Ambassador group raised over $120,000 for TACA.

27. TACA partnered again with 93.1 Jack FM for Jack’s Fifth Show, a concert benefitting TACA.  This five-year relationship has raised a cumulative total of over $200,000.

28. TACA was awarded $30,000 from Buchanan Children’s Charities (for the 5th year) through a matching grant supported by friends of the Orange County Community Foundation.

29. TACA’s 7th Annual Family Picnic was a huge success with over 1,500 attendees and raised over $85,000.

30. TACA’s 4th Annual Ante Up for Autism in Orange County was attended by 320 people and raised nearly $230,000, a 10% from 2009’s Ante Up for Autism.

31.  TACA expanded its outreach through relationships with other organizations and participated in a variety of collaborative events such as An Evening for Autism, A Ride for Autism, Hope 4 Hanna, and the TBigT Golf Tournament, raising more than $60,000 collectively.

32. TACA received in-kind donations of products and services with an overall value totaling nearly $400,000, helping offset expenses.

LEADERSHIP

33. TACA welcomed Chad Fitzsimmons, EVP at KCBS 93.1 Jack FM to the Board of Directors.

34. TACA held its 7th Annual Real Help Now Conference in Orange County with nearly 400 attending and featuring six nationally known DAN! Doctors speaking such as Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Anju Usman and Dr. Tim Buie.

35. TACA held its 4th Annual Leadership Conference in January 2010 for approximately 60 Chapter Coordinators and Key Volunteers from 21 states.  Attendees received trained on TACA’s Mission and programs & services offered, and Chapter operations.

MEDIA

36. Forty-six national and local media articles featured information about TACA as an organization, our Chapters, and TACA and current autism related issues.

37. Our website, tacanow.org, received more than 500,000 visits by users who accessed nearly 1.2 million pages of information. Fifteen new articles and major updates to 25% of our content were added. New teen and adult resource articles were added to address our members’ growing and changing needs.

38. TACA continues to educate and raise awareness within the community with articles published in Autism File, Spectrum Magazine, and on a variety of autism issue related blogs.

39. Support and news updates through social marketing networks included:  TACA’s national Yahoo! Group (TACA-USA)Facebook, and Twitter.

40. TACA is a founding sponsor of Age of Autism and has supported the nation's only daily web news covering autism related news for the past five years.

41. TACA’s partnership with 93.1 Jack FM also included frequent public service announcements about autism and TACA.

42. TACA members received more than 50 e-newsletters and two printed newsletters each with a circulation of more than24,000.

43. Autism Awareness efforts included:

a. The Orange County Register special insert

b. Family & Friends Campaign

c. Autism Awareness Days – hosted by the following: LA Dodgers, LA Clippers, Wahoo’s, and Tommy Bahama’s

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

e. Pretend City! Children’s Museum – special days and nights for families with autism

f. Autism Youth Ambassadors at 2 high school campuses

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