Former Autism Society Of America President Scott Badesch, To Receive The Autism Science Foundation’s 2020 Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award

NEW YORK, NY (February 18, 2020) – The Autism Science Foundation (ASF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding innovative autism research, today announced that Scott Badesch will receive this year’s Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award. Scott served as president of the Autism Society of America for 10 years before retiring in January, 2020. He is the father of an adult son with autism. The award, which recognizes excellence in autism research advocacy, will be presented at the seventh annual “Day of Learning” event, ASF’s science conference for the autism community, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. 

The Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award is presented annually to family advocates whose energy, tenacity, and commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism best emulate Caryn’s.  Caryn was a loving and dedicated mom, and a tireless advocate who worked with the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), Autism Speaks, and the Autism Science Foundation to raise money, advance autism research, and improve the lives of children around the country.

“As ASA president, Scott paved the way for young adults like my brother Robby to participate more fully in community activities” said Allyson Schwartzman, 26, daughter of Caryn Schwartzman.  “I once heard him say “inclusion is not a place; it’s a mindset”;  my mom would have loved that”. 

“It’s truly an honor to present this award to Scott for his many years of hard work and his unwavering commitment to autism research, treatment, and services,” said Alison Singer, president and co-founder of the Autism Science Foundation.  “We are thrilled that he has joined the ASF board, where he continues doing incredible work on behalf of all our families.”

Scott led his local Autism Society affiliate before joining the national office in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Development and Operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, particularly in fundraising, chapter outreach, advocacy and public policy, and transformation of organizations. Before joining the Autism Society national office, Scott served as President and CEO of the Autism Society of North Carolina. Other experience includes 14 years as President and CEO of the United Way of Palm Beach County, and six years as President and CEO of the United Way of South Carolina.

The Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award will be presented at the Autism Science Foundation’s “Day of Learning” event on Wednesday, March 27, which will feature TED-style talks by the nation’s top autism scientists.  Participants will discuss the latest developments in autism research, treatment and services to an audience including parents, students, individuals with autism, and other autism community stakeholders. Specific topics include robotic therapy partners, CBD and other medication trials, and new interventions specifically for adolescents.

Tickets for the “Day of Learning,” which includes breakfast, lunch, and a dessert buffet, are available online

Proceeds from the conference will benefit the foundation’s pre- and post- doctoral autism fellowship programs, which support early-career research conducted by the nation’s most promising young autism scientists. 

About the Autism Science Foundation

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make a donation visit

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