by ADN

March 30, 2015

The New York Collaborates for AutismTwizzler Challenge – on March 23 we posted a report about the Twizzler Challenge, Twizzlers – The Ice Bucket Challenge for Autism? The viewpoints of many were shared, who had posted their opinions on various social media sites. We questioned is this campaign could truly promote autism awareness, or whether it was just another social media fad.

We reached out to Gillian Eagan who is the Senior Director of Special Projects for the New York Collaborates for Autism. They state on their website:

‘New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA) is a non-profit organization that strategically designs and launches innovative, one-of-a-kind programs to improve the lives of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).’

We wanted to better understand the challenge, and how it could help raise autism awareness.

Gillian kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions about this campaign and our interview with Gillian can be read below.

From our original article, while many think it might help raise funds, some question how much awareness is raised and how “incredibly awkward” it is from an autistic perspective. What are your thoughts on this?

twizzlersReactions and responses by individuals with autism to personal contact vary greatly and are as diverse as autism itself.  The #TwizzlerChallenge happened serendipitously and is intended to be fun and silly and certainly not intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable or awkward.

We are profoundly grateful for the support that the #TwizzlerChallenge has provided our organization and incredibly excited to see the challenge has spurred a national conversation about autism.  To help continue the conversation, we encourage everyone to participate, donate and share as there can never be too much awareness.

I imagine that this was unexpected and not planned that Meredith Vieira would launch it as something similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge. What has been the response by Twizzler’s?

The Twizzlers brand is honored to be organically included in the Twizzler Challenge.  Immediately after seeing the original segment between Meredith and Willie Geist on the Meredith Vieira show, Twizzlers wanted to show their support.  They participated in the challenge and made a $10K donation to New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA). Twizzlers has since reached out and is now working with NYCA to help enable awareness and drive donations to NYCA via the Twizzler Challenge.  Donations can be made The brand has also made an incremental $25,000 donation to help support the cause and will continue to encourage engagement, participation and donation amongst fans and friends.

What did you think when Meredith Vieira started the Challenge?

Continues Here

NY Collaborates

About the author 


  • At the end of that Twizzler what more could they tell about autism that they did not know before?

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