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  upcoming events

20th Annual
Friends of Autism Golf Classic
With special guest Leroy Butler



Monday, August 19, 2019

Ironwood Golf Course

Sussex, WI


Registration: 8:30am

Shotgun Start: 10:30am

Register online now »

  About Us

Friends of Autism is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2000 by John and Karen Sauer, parents of a child with autism, and friends who passionately believe children with autism deserve to be a public health priority. That is why we are called "Friends" of Autism.  Friends of Autism's IRS form 990 is available on request.

We are committed to autism research, awareness, and education.

Friends of Autism is unique among organizations in the autism community because it is a grass-roots, volunteer-driven organization consisting of those who know autism best: parents, educators, and healthcare providers. That means we are in an extraordinary position to identify gaps in current autism treatment and education services and to take the initiative to raise funds to fill those gaps. Because we have very little overhead, nearly every penny we raise is used to benefit children with autism.


As Wisconsin’s largest source of private/non-profit autism research funds, Friends of Autism has contributed more than $100,000 to research since 2000.  We are proud to have partnered with the following groups to further our mission of increased autism research.

Autism Project of the University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire
Autism Society of America
Cure Autism Now
International Child Development Research Center
National Alliance for Autism Research
Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin


For families struggling with autism on a daily basis, the cost and effort of staying current with the many autism treatment options is often daunting.  Friends of Autism recognizes this challenge and has responded by underwriting the cost of bringing internationally renowned experts in the field of autism directly to Wisconsin to provide parents, educators, and healthcare professionals with the tools they need to help children with autism learn and succeed.  We are very proud to offer these forums because we believe that we are not only educating the individuals who attend but also helping the many children they will work with for years to come.


Anyone who is new to the world of autism or would like to learn more about Friends of Autism should listen to this interview with WMYX radio producer Tony Lorino and Friends of Autism volunteer Liz Jones.

Interview, Part 1    Interview, Part 2    Interview, Part 3


Studies have shown that early intensive intervention is directly correlated with positive outcomes in children with autism.  The sooner a child begins intensive therapy, the better the chances that child will lead a productive life.  Without intervention, the future for a child with autism remains bleak.

In an effort to support early detection and intervention and to further its mission of education and family support, Friends of Autism distributes “Autism Red Flags” brochures free of charge to families, healthcare providers, day care centers, churches, and schools across the country.  These brochures provide basic information on autism, early warning signs, and recommendations on how families can access the proper diagnosis and early intervention for their children.

Click for Brochure »


Walk4Autism and the Friends of Autism Golf Classic are two of the Friends of Autism events that allow us to keep autism in the public eye and raise funds to support our mission of autism research, awareness, and education.  At these events, walkers, golfers, and volunteers learn about the prevalence of autism and how having a child with autism impacts the family and the community.

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