Ignorance breeds ignorance. Autism Speaks

It is time I go after the elephant in the room.

Autism Speaks.

Everyone one has heard of this organization. They run advertising on TV radio and magazines. Heck I even saw their big display of blue light bulbs in Home Depot.

So if they are such a great big organization doesn’t that make them great? In a word; NO.

Most people who give to Autism Speaks have no idea how offensive and demeaning this organization is to Autistic people.

I do not know a single person on the Autism Spectrum who supports Autism Speaks. I don’t even know a single person on the spectrum who doesn’t hate Autism Speaks. Why? Several reasons:

Autism Speaks does not advocate for Autistic people. Rather they demonize us. They paint us as sick outsiders who need to be cured. They label us as not normal. They openly promote aborting babies who MAY have Autism.
We aren’t sick. We aren’t broken. All we ever want is a little understanding. Yes we are different, not broken. Autism is a part of who we are, how we think, how we live. To ‘cure’ us would be like cutting off your leg because the doesn’t like the smell of your feet.
Look up their video ‘Autism every day’. In this Public Service Announcement they show a woman, speaking in front of her Autistic daughter about how she contemplates Murder Suicide because her child had Autism. She said the ONLY reason she wouldn’t do this was be use of her NON Autistic child. Who was the woman in the ad? The vice president of Autism Speaks.
Think on that for a moment…
Sadly not long after this PSA aired, a woman did just that.

Autism Speaks doesn’t advocate for Autistic people. They advocate for people inconvenienced by Autistic people.

Autism Speaks does not use its money to help Autistic people or their families. They instead spend their money on researching for a cure. (again I say, we aren’t sick).
By spending money on research, they are unaccountable for results. That is the nature of research after all. Yet they continue to host Hollywood fund-raisers and court corporate partners to bring in massive money. Not directing that money to the people they claim to advocate for.
As I said I have High Functioning Autism and as such I have a strong sense of fairness. So let’s be fair here. In 2010 Autism Speaks DID donate $50 Thousand dollars to family and community grants. They also paid their top executives more than twice that amount and they donated $16 MILLION DOLLARS to research for a cure.

Autism Speaks does not and will not allow anyone on the Autism Spectrum in any controlling position in their organization. Sure they will hire parents of Autistic kids. But they won’t hire anyone even with high functioning Autism such as myself. There is a big difference in having Autism and dealing with Autism. And Autism Speaks only hires those who put up with Autism to run their organization. Those who want a cure, not for their children but to make THEIR life better.
Yes after years of pressure they did allow one Autistic person on the 29 member advisory board. Again I like to be fair.

Autism Speaks has money and Power. The couple who founded Autism Speaks are wealthy and they started with a $25 Million dollar do action from a friend. And as such they dominate ‘Autism awareness industry’. Ask anyone to name 2 organizations that you can donate money to for Autism. They won’t be able to. They can only name Autism Speaks. Why? Because Autism Speaks spends massive amounts of money in order to gain notoriety and market share. Yes they are a money making business just like Pepsi Cola. Difference is Pepsi is honest about why they advertise; to make money.
So now all those well meaning people who want to help Autistic families wind up giving money to the very organization out to destroy Autistic people.
All of this happens while true charities who would help Autistic people are starving for money.

Autism is not a disease, any attempts to ‘cure’ someone of an Autism spectrum condition, or any attempts to force ‘behavior modifications’ are wrong and immoral.
The vast majority of people on the Autism Spectrum are able to live productive lives. Yes some may need a little help. Please do not think you are helping any of us by giving money to a for profit organization like Autism Speaks.

Autism Speaks doesn’t speak for Autistic people.

5 comments on “Ignorance breeds ignorance. Autism Speaks

  1. […] Autism Speaks.  There are many posts that have already taken that on just a couple of my favs are here or here.  Some people defend Autism Speaks because they provide valuable information to families, […]

  2. […] of Autism Speaks. There are many posts that have already taken that on just a couple of my favs are here or here. Some people defend Autism Speaks because they provide valuable information to families, […]

  3. Rachael Kettner Thompson says:

    I agree with the issue of not needing to find a cure. I have an Aspie son who I think with proper identification earlier than when he was ten could help him be more successful in our society. As a parent, I’m learning all I can to help/understand how he works.

  4. Steven says:

    notice the corporate logo is just one puzzle piece?
    notice the corporate logo is one color?
    notice how they just focus on little boys, never on girls, adults or higher functioning?

    Autism is short for the Autism Spectrum Disorder, and apparently Autism Speaks apparently is not aware its SPECTRUM of VARIOUS disorders, and not just the “classic” autism disorder.

    They want to target one demographic: They attract mothers, little boys with severe autism. Not only that they will use celebrities with ASD to spread the awareness of HFA or AS.

    I am someone with PDD-NOS, been born with autism at birth, my IQ is borderline, but I come as a normal person. Up untll I was 12 I was told I had ASD, and then all the baggage of I’m a creep, socially weird and perverted even if I didn’t fit that stereotype. I blame that on the liberal teachers union that is immune of hate speech to school children.

    I believe Autism is not curable, but the severity can be averted and the migration during pregnancy can help. I am also someone who believes that AS (Asperger Syndrome) does not hold someone’s life behind like other forms traditional PDD. I have severe anxiety issues, severe sensory issues and social difficulties (that in part was inflated) and not a as strong intellect like your group is.

    If Autism Speaks wants someone to give a sob story, if the phone DOES ring, I’ll know its them calling for me!

    Steven

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