After his son was diagnosed with autism, successful businessman and CEO Sanjay Shah founded Autism Rocks to help fund research by the Autism Research Centre. In 2011 after taking his youngest son to the doctor complaining of stomach problems, Sanjay Shah was informed that as well as a food allergy his son shows signs of autism.
Autism is a developmental disorder, impairing social interactions and typical communication with others. It can also be characterized by repetitive or obsessive behaviors. Some forms of autism is said to affect over three million individuals across the world and one in 68 children in the United States are on the autism spectrum according to studies by the CDC. When one of these three million individuals happened to be Sanjay’s son, the family quickly learned how much it costs to care for someone with autism and that research was still underfunded.
In an afternoon tea chat with Snoop Dogg and using his long list of contacts including event planners, musicians, and interested parties; Sanjay founded Autism Rocks. Its first event was an invite only concert in London, headlined by Prince. Since its resounding success, Autism Rocks has funded over 15 research projects including the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University.
Shah has contributed to helping children in India but focuses his attention on the research into better diagnostic knowledge and studies into specific implementations for building social skills. Donations from Shah, his family, and his trusts have provided transportation for clients of the Dubai Autism Centre and the discovery that autism affects different parts of the brain depending on the sex of the individual.
The discovery made by the ARC concluded that if certain identifiers are present in males, we should not assume that it would also affect a female in the same way. This shows that there is more diversity on the autism spectrum than previously thought, so behaviors may not be misdiagnosed as ADHD or other syndromes and carers can adjust and treat rather than prescribe drugs.
Right now Autism Rocks is a private event, raising awareness for people living with autism across the world but you can still donate to help the cause here: Donate to Autism Rocks