By Lisa Ackerman
Back in October 2000, an email was shared to invite families to the first TACA meeting for families living with autism that would take place in November. That one email has sparked families to find other like-minded parents to find hopeful treatments and therapies for their children.
Since that very first meeting, TACA has grown from having touched the lives of 10 families to over 45,000 nationwide. Thousands of meetings have been held by volunteers across the United States utilizing the same principles of driving families to effective therapies & treatments. One thing we didn’t expect was the need for community and with TACA we all found our community of strong parents. All of this started from my little living room.
All of TACA’s programs and services are at little or no cost to families. TACA programs have grown based on serving a community that has had little support.
The families we serve continue to motivate TACA staff and volunteers to deliver programs and services. When TACA began as an organization, autism affected 1 in every 5,000 children. Today autism affects 1 in every 68 children (1.)
TACA chapters, mentoring and many of our programs are stewarded by a small staff of 16 along with an army of parent volunteers. Our staff and incredible volunteers are the heart of TACA, all working with the goal of providing help from families living with autism, helping other families living with autism. This trained, insured and managed group grows each year.
To be part of our volunteer team of families, sign up to be a parent mentor: http://www.tacanow.org/about-taca/parent-mentor-program/
To see our accomplishments over the past 15 years:
Most foundations say they are looking forward to the next 15 years. TACA families would like to see more help for families living with autism and eventually no need for a foundation like us. There is still so much work to be done to support for families, and I can assure you that TACA will be here as long as we are needed.
Our families also want increased funding in autism research. It is still the least funded disability in the U.S. affecting the most children (1.) Families also need financial assistance to afford effective therapies and treatments. As an organization, we would love to see prevention being offered and that no families will ever go without needed therapies and services. Until then, TACA will continue to serve our mission as well as create new and innovative ways to help parents in their autism journey.