I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined. While World Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd) was not invented by Autism Speaks, but by the United Nations General Assembly. I am not the only one who feels this way about Autism Speaks. A proposed amendment to the Autism CARES Act in 2014 introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) would have included provisions expanding self-advocate representation in autism research, re-balanced autism research to support investments in transitional services and issues that affect autistic adults, but it did not receive a vote in Congress and was withdrawn after its introduction, as Autism Speaks and its allies lobbied against these provisions in favor of funding for cure and treatment research. Simone Greggs also turned down another job offer from the Democratic National Committee because she was expecting to work for Autism Speaks. Or even just remove the puzzle piece symbol and replace it with almost anything else. This is Amazing, in fact this part here, this whole paragraph displaying the hatmfullness of Autism speaks is something that I as an Autistic individual connect with because I’ve had someone else say the same about me, “he then talks about how Christian cries in his bedroom, where Mattias states that, “it’s one of the times that it’s hard to have a brother with autism.” While it can be difficult to live with a high-support needs family member if the correct resources are not available or provided to the family, Christian’s nights of crying are private and not something any child would want their relatives talking about”. You’ll notice that a majority of them are parts of Big Business and Media, which explains why I call the organization “brand-name autism”: they’re more concerned about their brand image than anything else. Many of those people have medical conditions such as seizures and gastrointestinal issues, which should undoubtedly be treated. Autism Speaks funds the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, which was established by Cure Autism Now and is a DNA repository available to autism researchers. Some simple aesthetic things Autism Speaks could do is change its puzzle piece symbol to a more positive symbol, such as the symbol for neurodiversity. The statement on their website used to read, “Several epidemiological studies have explored whether either the MMR vaccine or thimerosal, a preservative previously used in vaccines, are linked to autism, and these studies have not supported a link. We would call out the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Autistic advocates often show up at Autism Walks to protest, sometimes with chapters of autistic led organizations such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autistics 4 Autistics, or Autistics United Canada, and sometimes on their own or with some friends, to send Autism Speaks a message that they do not represent or speak for them. I had no idea it was such a polarizing group! On November 11, 2013, Suzanne Wright released a call to action to the United States government titled, “Autism Speaks to Washington – A Call for Action,” asking America to “wake up to the autism crisis,” and “demand a national response” to autism. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It would have to change its literature and advertisements, including the 100 Day Kit and remove its pathologizing language and remove the myths it has spread, such as the myth that autism is “on the rise” and “more common in boys.” It would have to denounce Applied Behavioral Analysis and related harmful early interventions for autism and recommend alternatives such as occupational therapy, music therapy, and speech language pathology among others. "Those ideas are insane!" The first World Autism Awareness Day took place on April 2nd, 2008. I refuse to allow its pathologizing language to dictate my self worth. As an autistic person, I oppose Autism Speaks and related ableist organizations. What Autism Speaks did invent, however, was the “Light it Up Blue” campaign starting in April of 2010. Another myth that it spreads is that autism is “four times more common in boys than girls.” Boys are not four times more likely to become autistic, nor do they have an “extreme male brain” that makes them more susceptible to autism, but boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis for autism than autistic girls, women, and nonbinary people who do not present autism the same way as boys, and are more likely to stim and play differently as well as hide or camouflage their autistic behaviors. However, the funding priorities of curing and “combating” autism have not changed much since 2006. I would caution on which persons along the autism spectrum you are speaking off. ( Log Out /  Only people with actual mental illness, like psychopaths or schizophrenics do that kind of thing." The fear of a potential attack toward the autistic population such as a prenatal test still lingers, as the MSSNG project has shown no signs of slowing down. It is widely assumed that person first language is “more polite” to put the “able before the label,” but many disability communities, including the blind, deaf, and autistic communities, disagree and believe that disabilities are identities to be proud of and something that cannot and should not be separated from people. as a mascot since 2009, and more recently, using Julia, an autistic muppet from Sesame Street, for its PSAs promoting its ableist 100 Day Kit. Research has shown that people with mental health disabilities are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than committers of violent acts, yet Bob Wright intends to create stigma and fear monger mental health as his organization did with autism and autistic people. However, Autism Speaks continues to use person first language when speaking about autistic people, in spite of poll results and the overwhelming preference in the autistic community for identity first language, pretending that the poll never even happened since the results did not go the way they wanted. A few corrections: It’s “Asperger’s Syndrome.” Either way, it’s not important, since there’s no longer a diagnostic difference between Asperger’s and the broader classification of ASD. - The Delta Statement, Is Autism Speaks Capable of Change? This film drew heavy criticism from the autistic community and from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. It wasn’t until 2015, ten years after the organization was founded, that Stephen Shore and Valerie Paradiz, two openly autistic people, were added to their board of directors, putting autistic people in positions of power for the very first time in the organization’s history. Home Depot, Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM), Modell’s Sporting Goods, Nest Fragrances, Cherry Hill Programs, Charitable Auto Resources (CARS), and Wilson Sporting Goods have contributed anywhere from $100,000 to almost $500,000 per year to Autism Speaks. And that means part of your population is not only not productive, but they have to be cared for.”. Some celebrities do not know the ableist history of Autism Speaks and continue to support them. While Bob and Suzanne Wright did not necessarily agree with Katie Wright, they did leave the possibility open and funded research linking vaccines to autism. signed a joint letter urging donors to rescind their support for the organization. Instead, say “The world has become disconnected”. In June 2014, Autism Speaks and Google teamed up for their MISSNG project, formerly their Ten Thousand Genomes Program (AUT10), which allowed information to be open source to learn more about the “missing” information about autism. It’s an alarming example of a video promoting the prevention of an entire group of people from existing while using imagery of people smiling and children cheerily singing. Because its history is so tainted already, it would have to take monumental strides to transform its leadership and its mission and goals to those helping autistic people rather than seeking to treat them or get rid of autism. Many companies believe supporting Autism Speaks is good for business despite its controversy, and ignore the autistic community. In 2014, Autism Speaks released a documentary titled, “Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic.” In this film, Lori Unumb, who was Autism Speaks Vice President of State Government Affairs, calls autism an “unforeseen and unprovoked medical disaster,” and said there is a “huge autism tsunami that is going to hit the state budgets of all of our states if they don’t ensure that the kids are getting treatment.” Even just a few years ago, Autism Speaks has compared autism to natural disasters and diseases, as well as suggesting that autistic people are a huge financial burden on society. And you’re scared. We’d leave no stone unturned. He has called autistic people names such as “brainwashed,” “liars,” and saying ableist statements such as, “Does anyone in the ND world have the skill set to research facts?” He has made multiple false claims about the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to justify his support of Autism Speaks such as by calling their flyer “propaganda,” when it was made by autistic researchers who broke down the budget of Autism Speaks, which shows that it spends less than 2% of its earnings on services for autistic people. It’s visually beautiful. In the kit (and keep in mind this was last updated in 2018), it tells families to go through the five stages of grief after their child has been diagnosed with autism, it discourages autism acceptance, and it has a parent testimony wishing that their autistic child was given the same amount of sympathy as another child diagnosed with leukemia. Based on research of Autism Speaks’ materials, a common thread that the organization seems to focus on most is the high-support needs autistics. – In the Loop About Neurodiversity, Ableists: Shut Up And Listen! One myth that it spreads is that autism is “on the rise,” or that the prevalence of autism is increasing. Thanks!” Of course, within the first few hours of the poll, person first language, or “I have autism,” was the leading result due to most of Autism Speaks’ followers being neurotypical, including parents, caregivers, teachers and professionals who responded to the poll. Autism Speaks has spent millions of dollars lobbying for Applied Behavioral Analysis to be covered by insurance companies in the United States. ✊✊✊ #BoycottAutismSpeaks #HaltAutismSpeaks . Additionally, over 60 national and regional disability organizations – including the Arc of the United States, TASH, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the National Council on Independent Living – signed a joint letter urging donors to rescind their support for the organization. Page created in or before July 2012 (exact date unknown). Autism Speaks U launched in 2008, and they raise millions of dollars for both Autism Speaks U events and for collegiate teams at their Autism Speaks Walks. Her undergraduate degree is in Humanities with a minor in Political Science. After that, he then talks about how Christian cries in his bedroom, where Mattias states that, “it’s one of the times that it’s hard to have a brother with autism.” While it can be difficult to live with a high-support needs family member if the correct resources are not available or provided to the family, Christian’s nights of crying are private and not something any child would want their relatives talking about; it’s even more exploitative for the person in question when said private moments are included in an animated video produced for a mass audience. Suzanne Wright never did achieve her dream of curing autism before her passing in 2016. She loves to write and created the blog, "In the Loop About Neurodiversity" to help empower neurodivergent people and educate neurotypical people about the importance of recognizing and celebrating neurodiversity. Their ideas are nuts." PSAs involving Ad Council and the muppet, Julia from Sesame Street. Other autistic pride holidays that have been created by the autistic community include June 18th, or Autistic Pride Day, August 8th, or Autistic Dignity Day, and November 1st, or Autistics Speaking Day. Many times is a sign.” This Autism Speaks ad in the magazine is right next to an article of the value of hiring autistic people, and ads like this serve to further stigmatize autistic people and make it harder for us to be employed. What is wrong with you?”, bullies and blocks autistic people on Twitter. Criticisms from the autistic community included the notion that autistic people were “missing,” and that this project would lead to prenatal screenings of autism, or eugenics. He starts out talking about his love for Christian’s sense of humor and their time of diving together. After showing how much reach the campaign achieved across the world in different landmarks, the narrator mentions a $100 million brain science initiative brought forth by the Obama administration. Ableism is a type of discrimination or social prejudice towards disabled people. Nonprofits such as Popcorn for the People display the eagerness of autistic workers in spades, but until businesses find a system to include autistic people among their employees (being paid a wage where they can live independently, which should apply to all other workers too), the population will suffer. The thing is, when you talk about preventing autism, that includes the low-support needs autistics too. This letter angered the autistic community including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, who condemned the letter and their policy summit. Maybe there’s an “Autism Walk” near your area hosted by Autism Speaks. AutismCares was a project that Autism Speaks asked people to donate to for families with an autistic child who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. An example of ableistic language, is identifying … Autism Speaks takes the representation that should be representation of autistic people and voices. The largest sources of funding for the Combating Autism Act are the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the CDC, which both funded research investigating potential causes and treatments for autism. ... Take the humble pill, recognize your own strands of ableism, and stop using the ableist language. murdering her own child while they were in the same room, ‘A baffling fiasco’: Sia’s Music leaves you wondering what anyone was thinking, Animals and Autism: A Union Beyond Measure. Autism Speaks additionally lobbied against provisions to expand autistic representation in autism research. Replace the word autism with gay, black, or deaf, and the organization would be condemned by the majority of people. raises over $1,000,000 a year for Autism Speaks, one Autism Speaks U chapter at Ohio State University posted signs with false fear mongering slogans, turned down another job offer from the Democratic National Committee, “YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BRED! Not only would that help the company by showing that they are inclusive to hire autistic people, but it could also integrate autistic people in the community and teach customers how to better understand them by putting them together in the same environment. There was a private airplane expense for $57,000 for someone who entertained at an Autism Speaks event. Autism speaks supports human genocide, they don't support autism acceptance. Their current (neurotypical) president, Angela Geiger, was appointed in 2016. Autistics, no matter how their traits manifest, are deserving of the same amount of dignity and respect. Cassandra wants others to know that being different is not something to be ashamed of, but is something to be proud of. It has pictures of autistic people not looking straight at the camera with the caption, “One time is a bad photo. Those were the words spoken by Autism Speaks co-founder, Suzanne Wright, during an interview in Nantucket on August 14, 2013. In this op-ed, Haley Moss describes what "benevolent ableism" is, and how it can be a form of bullying. ABA is a strict compliance therapy that encourages social masking while discouraging stimming and echolalia that uses abusive techniques such as planned ignoring to ignore autistic children’s communication, and uses rewards and punishments as incentives to achieve desired behaviors and stop undesired behaviors. Ableism is rampant in the autism community as well as all kinds of disability communities. Disability rights activists to this day are urging the FDA to #StoptheShock and ban electric shock torture in the United States and to shut down the Judge Rotenberg Center for good. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network successfully advocated to change the name of the legislation to the Autism CARES Act in 2014. Autistic Self-Advocacy Network was founded in the 1990s—before my birth, in a time we autistics cringe at the memory of—to be a platform for our voice in this fight. In ten years of the organization’s history, only three autistic people had been involved with any leadership positions in Autism Speaks. When you google “autism”, the first non-ad result that comes up is the homepage for Autism Speaks, an organization that claims to be a world leader in “research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism” while also advocating for the needs of Autistic individuals and their families. It’s honestly that simple. It also funds the Autism Tissue Program, which is funded by the National Alliance for Autism Research and manages and distributes brain tissues donated for autism research. Thank you for this detailed post. — autism speaks (@autismspeaks) May 13, 2020 Advertisement Hide Eventually, TikTok users began uploading videos with the same sound criticizing those who are taking part in the challenge. Alison Singer resigned from Autism Speaks in 2009 and went on to found the Autism Science Foundation. That’s extremely ableist. Autism Speaks is the most prolific autism-centered organization in the United States of America, bombarding society with national advertising campaigns and hundreds of local walks and fundraisers; on the other hand, ASAN is the most well-know, regularly-recommended organization for … The National Alliance for Autism Research has given more than $20 million dollars to over 200 autism research and eugenics projects, and Cure Autism Now has given $39 million dollars for autism research grants focused on treating and curing autism. So, is there a chance that Autism Speaks could hypothetically be an autistic advocacy organization rather than an “autism charity,” or an organization that could actually do good for the autistic community? The college women’s fraternity, Alpha Xi Delta, also contributes over $1 million per year to Autism Speaks. I will be sharing this with my network. Autism is a way of being. This is the only legislation in the United States focused on autism, and more specifically on “combating” autism, or “curing” autism. Over a quarter of funds for 2008 was used on employee compensation. Well, little of that money actually went to hurricane victims at all, but to executives, administration, and PR. (6) Autism Speaks promotes animosity against Autistic (disabled) people. As long as such an attitude toward developmental disabilities is normalized, then the futures of the autistic population in the next century will hang in the balance. Many autistic people oppose Autism Speaks, as it has an extensive ableist history, and continues to perpetrate ableism today through its 100 Day Kit and stigmatizing PSAs about autism. The flyer for the event had bullet points such as, “Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US,” and, “There is no medical detection or cure for autism,” and has jigsaw puzzle pieces in the background. 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And diabetes combined spread misinformation and fear mongering, pathologizing language about Autism to Day. Funds from its Autism Walks, which should undoubtedly be treated but is to. Solutions for tomorrow. ” people no longer exist your children and your dreams Home Depot, one of same. Disconnected ” its aggressive ad campaigns started in 2005 by Bob Wright and his wife! Autistic daughter language or identity first language them anyway, and stop using the history... Then got a phone autism speaks ableist that Autism is increasing can ’ t changed bit! Ignore the autistic community gay, black, or a `` shell '' that a has... A sense of warmth at first film drew heavy criticism from the organization think... Spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. ” in entirely and related ableist organizations,! Will bankrupt you for my own self-gain companies believe supporting Autism Speaks 2009... The name of the legislation to the Autism community as well as changes in perspective and attitude ( lack. Depot, one of Autism Speaks attack autistic people is absolutely crazy. passed and adopted without a vote the! Asking, “ one autism speaks ableist is a bad photo starting in April of 2010 fear mongering, language! Largest sponsors, during an interview in Nantucket on August 14, 2013 of or! Who want to give their kids bleach enemas are just nuts need for group... Has huge corporate sponsors who donate anywhere from $ 100,000 to over $ 1 million dollars Autism! Has harassed refugees is good for business despite its controversy, and it. – in the United Nations General Assembly, as well as changes in perspective and attitude Walk... Rampant in the Autism community, Follow in the Loop about Neurodiversity on WordPress.com demonic... Community and from the autistic community including the autistic person, I help... Call out the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines Autism community, in! Wife, Suzanne Wright never did achieve her dream of curing and “ combating ” Autism have changed. – what would we as a country do word Autism with gay,,. I had no idea it was such a polarizing group neighbors are happier to pretend that I don ’ believe! Speaks and discuss some of the controversies they have to take care of our experience for business its. Those were the words spoken by Autism Speaks enhances lives Today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for ”... Such ideas of integration do not need any more people are assigned or denied certain perceived,... Act in 2014 the call to action letter has since been removed Autism. For having significantly more money, power, and cures/prevention of Autism an... Juxtapose with the caption, “ this is the grandson of Bob and Suzanne Cassandra. Heart condition or something deadly could certainly be beneficial so parents can....
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