The Autism Community in Action (TACA), formerly Talk About Curing Autism, is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has been serving families living with autism since 2000. All of TACA’s Programs and Services are provided at little or no cost to families (where there is a fee, a scholarship is always made available).
How TACA Began
In September 1999, an amazing little boy named Jeff was diagnosed with autism. Jeff’s parents, Glen and Lisa Ackerman, took Jeff to see many professionals in order to find out how to help him. Much to their dismay, each professional that they asked gave them the same answer… that there was no hope – that the best thing they could do for their two-and-a-half-year-old son was to find an institution to place him in.
The Ackermans knew that Jeff’s aptitude couldn’t be defined at such early age. They knew that Jeff could have a wonderful future despite what the so-called “professionals” said. They also knew that it was up to them, his parents, to create opportunities for Jeff to reach his full potential.
Refusing to give up on their son, the Ackermans spent hundreds of hours talking to any parent of a child diagnosed with autism, reading dozens of recommended books, watching countless hours of educational videos, and surfed the internet constantly. It’s no exaggeration to say that those countless hours spent researching, reading, and talking were tremendously frustrating. The Ackermans needed immediate help, answers, and support. Lisa often wondered if there wasn’t a better way – surely there had to be someone out there who had already done the same research before, a person or group who could have brought her up-to-speed much sooner so that her family could access the immediate support they desperately needed.
Fast forward to November 2000, when the Ackerman’s daughter, Lauren (at the advanced age of 16), recommended that they start a parent support group. Both Glen and Lisa felt unqualified to start such a group, but they definitely wanted the opportunity to connect with families to share resources, information, and encouragement – an opportunity to make sure that no family traveling the autism journey felt lost, helpless, or alone. That desire led Lisa to post an invitation in an online group, asking parents of children with autism if they wanted to meet at her house one afternoon.
What began as a small handful of families in the Ackerman’s living room in 2000, has grown into a support network that currently serves thousands and thousands of families across the nation. Our goal at TACA is to provide education, support, and information to parents so they can help their children diagnosed with autism become the best they can be, with the hope of recovery and independence. Today, there are many, many treatment options that help alleviate many of the symptoms suffered by our children diagnosed with autism. Let us share our collective, hard-won knowledge and experience with your family so your child’s treatment can begin right away. Ask about the autism journey because we are families with autism who have already “been there and done that” with many of our children. Some of us are still working hard every day with our children for whom we never give up hope. We are Families with Autism Helping Families with Autism.
Oh, and what happened to that amazing two-and-a-half-year-old who was recommended for institutionalization? He graduated from High School on the Honor Roll and is now rocking the college scene. More importantly, there are hundreds like him who have defied all odds, paving the way to change the perception that an autism diagnosis is hopeless.