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Honoring the Voice Behind ARI’s Helpline
January 2007—August 2017
For more than a decade, family members seeking support for their loved ones with autism found it first in the warm, compassionate voice of Nancy Herndon Cale. As an advocate for the autism community for more than 20 years, Nancy was the perfect person to answer the Autism Research Institute’s hotline phone, often becoming a friend on the front line to callers who needed help. When her grandson was diagnosed with autism at age 3, she cofounded Unlocking Autism in his honor, working to bring awareness to the growing epidemic, partnering with state and local governments and eventually earning a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for her efforts. She was the voice of ARI’s helpline from 2007 until the day she was admitted to the hospital in August 2017.
“Having manned the Unlocking Autism Call Center for several years, I knew what to expect at ARI and am humbled each and every day by the depth of the needs and concerns of those call searching for help for their loved ones with autism,” Nancy said. “I have great appreciation for the ‘network’ in the autism community that enables me to reach out across the country and around the world to find the resources I need to enable me to pass the help forward.”