I will make it virtually impossible for your family to easily attend a temple, a birthday party, a public park without a struggle, without embarrassment, without pain. Thank You Cassie! 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? It aims to make autistic people appear to be “less autistic,” and is akin to how gay conversion therapy aims to “take/pray the gay away.” There is recent research linking Applied Behavioral Analysis to PTSD in autistic adults, and more parents are recognizing the harm of ABA and are doing alternative early interventions, such as occupational therapy and speech language pathology based on their autistic child’s individual needs. Autistic people also do not like the color blue that Autism Speaks has used, due to the false gender stereotype of autism being “more common in boys” that Autism Speaks still promotes in its 100 Day Kit, making it harder for women and others with diverse gender identities including transgender individuals, gender nonconforming people, and nonbinary people to receive an autism diagnosis. Autism Speaks hasn’t changed a bit since 2005, except for having significantly more money, power, and influence. Autism Speaks funds the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, which was established by Cure Autism Now and is a DNA repository available to autism researchers. people with mental health disabilities are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than committers of violent acts, The Ableist History of Autism Speaks – In the Loop About Neurodiversity – International Badass Activists, Stop Saying Autistic People “Defeated” Autism When They Succeed – In the Loop About Neurodiversity, Good Autistic Advocacy Organizations vs. Bad Autism “Charities” – In the Loop About Neurodiversity, A New Decade of Autism Appreciation – In the Loop About Neurodiversity, A New Decade of Autism Acceptance – In the Loop About Neurodiversity, Por que não devemos apoiar a organização Autism Speaks – A Menina Neurodiversa, Is Autism Speaks Capable of Change? 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. As an autistic person, I oppose Autism Speaks and related ableist organizations. resigned from the organization in response to the call to action. Autism Speaks merged with the Autism Coalition for Research and Education in 2005, the National Alliance for Autism Research in early 2006, and Cure Autism Now in 2007. We do not need any more people with autism. Following the “I am Autism” PSA, one Autism Speaks U chapter at Ohio State University posted signs with false fear mongering slogans such as, “80% of parents of children with autism get divorced,” “More children will be diagnosed this year with autism than with diabetes, AIDs, and cancer combined, ” “For every locked mind, there’s a key to find,” and, “Support autism research: disturb the sound of silence.” Signs include quotes from or inspired by the the “I am Autism” PSA including, “Autism knows no race, ethnicity, social boundary, family income, lifestyle, or education level.” Members of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network in Central Ohio protested these fear mongering signs and the stigma of the “I am Autism” PSA. 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. – In the Loop About Neurodiversity, Ableists: Shut Up And Listen! It’s visually beautiful. 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. If three million children in America one day went missing – what would we as a country do? In response to the “Light it Up Blue” campaign, and because World Autism Awareness Day was made with no input from autistic people, autistic people have repurposed “Autism Awareness Day/Month” to, “Autism Acceptance Month,” and use April as a month to celebrate the autistic community. Only people with actual mental illness, like psychopaths or schizophrenics do that kind of thing." Its aggressive ad campaigns started in 2005, when The Today Show aired a week long series of ads highlighting autism research and treatment. Replace the word autism with gay, black, or deaf, and the organization would be condemned by the majority of people. Awesome article, but I really wish there was a breakdown of exactly WHO is on AS’ board of directors, such as the CEO of PayPal, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee, and executives from FX and AMC Networks. (6) Autism Speaks promotes animosity against Autistic (disabled) people. But if I can help it, I am invisible to you until it’s too late. 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. Mattias’ tale is told through animation rather reminiscent of a cross between children’s drawings and an indie rock music video. I know no color barrier, no religion, no morality, no currency. Despite how grim Suzanne Wright’s words were in that interview alone, her husband and the other co-founder, Bob, had his own equally harmful focus on the matter. Many autistics are outspoken on the topic of autism and ableism, yet many parents are completely unfamiliar with the term. ( Log Out /  What is Ableism Many people who are non-disabled have difficulty understanding the barriers in society that disabled people face. "Autism Speaks's idea of representing Autistic people is absolutely crazy." 5. Autism Speaks continues to spread misinformation and fear mongering, pathologizing language about autism. 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. Autism speaks supports human genocide, they don't support autism acceptance. 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. Your scientists don’t have the resources and I relish their desperation. I don’t sleep, so I make sure you don’t either. Autism Speaks additionally supports the Clinical Trials Network, and Toddler Treatment Network, which both focus on interventions and treatments of autism on autistic children as young as infants and toddlers. All the organization wants is to kill autistic people. ✊✊✊ #BoycottAutismSpeaks #HaltAutismSpeaks . 15 Common Phrases That Are Way More Ableist Than You May Realize March 2, 2016 / Caley Farinas When I was in middle school, my family started going to an autism support group. That raises the question: what’s wrong with not working and having to be cared for? 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. Autism Speaks applauds Department of Veterans Affairs for including vital autism care in insurance coverage for families of disabled veterans The Department of Veterans Affairs has informed beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs Great information and may this help many to understand better what Autism Speaks is about. If you live near the United States or Canada, there is a good chance you have heard of Autism Speaks (especially near April, during their “Light it Up Blue” campaign). Autism Speaks is responsible for a short film called “Autism Every Day”, in which an Autism Speaks board member claimed that having an Autistic child was so exasperating, she had a desire to kill both herself and her Autistic daughter. 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. And I will try my hardest to persuade people and organizations that support Autism Speaks to think otherwise and listen to the autistic community. signed a joint letter urging donors to rescind their support for the organization. Since its introduction and passage in 2006, Autism Speaks heavily lobbied for and supported the Combating Autism Act. While Autism Speaks now says on its website that vaccines do not cause autism, for years it supported research attempting to link vaccines to autism, even after research came out debunking this link. That very statement sums up a deep-rooted hatred for a group of vulnerable people. A 2019 issue of Diversibility Magazine has a PSA by Autism Speaks. - The Delta Statement, Is Autism Speaks Capable of Change? – Neurodivergent Thailand, Autism Speaks Does Not Speak for the Autism Community, Follow In the Loop About Neurodiversity on WordPress.com. condemned the letter and their policy summit. Its most controversial PSA titled, “I am Autism,” released in 2009, characterizes autism as a demon or a monster. When looking at the poll, mostly neurotypical people voted for person first language, while mostly autistic people responded for identity first language. But because even one of these changes is unlikely to happen, it would be better to support existing autistic advocacy organizations such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network , the Autistic Women’s and Nonbinary Network, Autistics United Canada, and Autism Inclusive Meets. Autism Speaks is also involved with the Autism Genome Project, in which part of its mission is to develop prenatal screenings for autism, which would likely result in babies who had a higher chance of being autistic to be aborted, contributing to eugenics, or the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. This is the same organization where their former executive vice president talked about the thought of murdering her own child while they were in the same room. The company continues to be one of the largest fundraisers for Autism Speaks. ( Log Out /  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. I live there too. 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. Her autistic son attended a school in which he received individual support, and Greggs asked her new boss if she could get off early on Wednesdays so she could pick up her son from school, and her request was initially accepted. The word, “solutions,” is the likely substitute for “cures.” And the fact that they still disrespect the language preference of the autistic community by saying, “people with autism spectrum disorder,” rather than, “autistic people,” is just one example of how they do not promote autism acceptance or respect for autistic people. Simone Greggs, a mother with an autistic son, filed a lawsuit against Autism Speaks in 2012 after they rescinded her job offer. You have no cure for me. They dropped the suit when finding out about Kelly’s age, but still demanded Kelly to destroy the source code of her website and give the domain name of her site to Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks knew this, and attempted to use these poll results to falsely claim that the autistic community preferred person first language. While parents should be prepared for a child that is disabled, the best way to do that would be by giving resources that will help the child thrive, rather than encouraging them to “mourn” the existence of their child such as that in Autism Speaks’ 100 Day Kit. What Autism Speaks did invent, however, was the “Light it Up Blue” campaign starting in April of 2010. Autism Speaks continues to raise funds from its Autism Walks, which it started from 2006. Suzanne Wright never did achieve her dream of curing autism before her passing in 2016. She then got a phone call that Autism Speaks rescinded the job offer. Autism Speaks had a three day summit called National Autism Summit in Washington, D.C. from November 12-15, 2013 involving congressional leaders, bipartisan officials, and neurotypical “autism experts” to advocate for more cure and treatment research funding and to raise money for their own organization. I am not the only one who feels this way about Autism Speaks. In fact, it’s so simple, I can’t believe it needed a post. A prenatal test for Down’s syndrome already exists, in which 100% of babies with the condition were aborted between 2008-2012 in Iceland. And it continues to exclude autistic people from its leadership and decisions concerning autistic people. Autism Speaks has huge corporate sponsors who donate anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million dollars to Autism Speaks per year. 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. Lindsay March 24th, 2014 . They speak over autistic people and take our space and spread ableist rhetoric about the need for a cure or treatment for autism. The first World Autism Awareness Day took place on April 2nd, 2008. I hover around all of you. 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. However you have heard about Autism Speaks, it’s unlikely you have heard about them from the very people they claim to support: the autistic community. Where the autistic rights movement IS the news! Some celebrities do not know the ableist history of Autism Speaks and continue to support them. The rainbow infinity loop for neurodiversity is also used as an alternative for the ableist puzzle piece symbol that Autism Speaks uses and other ableist organizations have used before it. Actions that would take a lot more work for Autism Speaks to become an autism and neurodiversity positive group would be to transform its leadership and include many autistic people. Autism Speaks is responsible for films and PSAs (which are no longer available on its YouTube channel) that depict autistic people as aggressive, as monsters, as soulless, and as empty, hollow shells. I refuse to allow its pathologizing language to dictate my self worth. Autism speaks came on board long after the film was finished, four years in fact. Those were the words spoken by Autism Speaks co-founder, Suzanne Wright, during an interview in Nantucket on August 14, 2013. Autism speaks is not even made by autistic people and Autism speaks dehumanize autistic people. ( Log Out /  Autism Speaks funds the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, which was established by Cure Autism Now and is a DNA repository available to autism researchers. For societies to thrive, we have to take care of our most vulnerable people. “This is generations of children to come that will be diagnosed with autism, and we as a country, and as a world, we have to stop.” Those were the words spoken by Autism Speaks co-founder, Suzanne Wright, during an interview in Nantucket on August 14, 2013. Or even just remove the puzzle piece symbol and replace it with almost anything else. 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. It can be easy to miss the quote, but when one does hear it, it can send chills down the spines of any autistics. The flagship programs of Cure Autism Now included the AGRE, Autism Treatment Network, Clinical Trials Network, and Innovative Technology for Autism. Simone Greggs also turned down another job offer from the Democratic National Committee because she was expecting to work for Autism Speaks. Its logo uses the ableist puzzle piece for autism, a symbol that has promoted ableism since the 1960’s. Again, causes and interventions is prioritized over supporting the needs of autistic people. The paragraph shows us what those associated with autism speaks are like and how they dehumanize and infantilize Autistics while removing their personhood through the violation of privacy. 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. And you should be. Billy Mann continues to wear the blue puzzle piece with pride, despite the symbol being considered a hate symbol in the autistic community, and continues to work for Autism Speaks today. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. While social skills can be challenging for many on the spectrum, that does not mean they should be deprived of opportunities to work. All it takes are some subtle changes to the environment, as well as changes in perspective and attitude. For an organization to suggest that such a group of people should be prevented from existing is simply damning and warrants drastic changes to the society we live in. Soldiers of Odin has white supremacist roots with a Finnish Aryan group and has harassed refugees. Autism cannot be separated from a person, as it is the way a person’s brain is wired and forms the basis of their movements, thoughts, feelings, and everything else. We would call out the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. One of Autism Speaks’ first fundraising events was in 2005 for Hurricane Katrina called “AutismCares” (not to be confused with Autism Speaks’ involvement in the Autism CARES Act, which I will discuss later). Their current (neurotypical) president, Angela Geiger, was appointed in 2016. A 2019 issue of Diversibility Magazine has a PSA by Autism Speaks pathologizing lack of eye contact to promote early screenings of autism. Fuck this entire thing. I work very quickly. “They do that because they see that the productivity loss here is significant,” Wright said. In this op-ed, Haley Moss describes what "benevolent ableism" is, and how it can be a form of bullying. In 2008, a fourteen-year-old autistic teenager who was a member of the Aspies for Freedom forum and went by the nickname, Kelly online made a website called “NT Speaks” (or Neurotypicals Speak), which was a satirical parody of Autism Speaks that suggested interventions for neurotypical behaviors the same way Autism Speaks suggests interventions for autistic behaviors. 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. Others do know, but continue to support them anyway, and even bully autistic people who oppose Autism Speaks. 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. 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. As affluent as Bob and Suzanne were, after their grandchild was diagnosed with autism, they expected to get the best autism “treatment” for their autistic grandchild to “cure” him of his autism. Autism Speaks additionally lobbied against provisions to expand autistic representation in autism research. But as long as William Shatner keeps raising money for Autism Speaks, they don’t care what he says or does to the autistic community. We’d call up every member of the National Guard. This is why many people associate Autism Speaks with April 2nd, as they observe World Autism Awareness Day and urge people to “light it up blue” for autism, or wear the color blue, wear blue puzzle pieces, and turn on blue lights for “autism awareness” during April. If you wouldn’t do something to an able-bodied child, do not do it to your disabled children. As someone who is autistic herself, she aspires to teach and learn from other neurodivergent people. She applied for an Autism Walk events manager position, of which the salary was $50,000 per year. I will fight to take away your hope. Change ), Cassandra Crosman is a current graduate student at Western Oregon University studying special education. Autism Speaks fear-marketed with documentaries, books, billboards, advertising, public service announcements and other marketing campaigns. I speak your language fluently, and with every voice I take away, I acquire yet another language. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. When confronted about it, Autism Speaks claimed they were, “Looking into it,” but no mention was made as if Soldiers of Odin were still involved in that Autism Walk, although the organization is no longer mentioned on Autism Speaks’ website. That very statement sums up a deep-rooted hatred for a group of vulnerable people. The fear of a potential attack toward the autistic population such as a prenatal test still lingers, as the MSSNG project has shown no signs of slowing down. Autistic behaviors can be difficult for people to understand at first, which is why education (through a compassionate, non-biased approach) is the key. What is wrong with you?”, bullies and blocks autistic people on Twitter. It was adopted on December 18th, 2007, and was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly. However, Autism Speaks continues to use person first language when speaking about autistic people, in spite of poll results and the overwhelming preference in the autistic community for identity first language, pretending that the poll never even happened since the results did not go the way they wanted. And guess what? Greggs filed a lawsuit against Autism Speaks for discrimination, but the lawsuit was dismissed in court. Autism Speaks additionally has many celebrity supporters. Autism Speaks offers a “100 Day Kit” (for a price after six months of diagnosis) as a resource for families of a child recently diagnosed with autism. Autism Speaks (abbreviated to AS or sometimes A$) is a highly controversial organization, run by non-autistic people, that seeks to eliminate autism. After finding there is no cure for autism, they founded Autism Speaks out of their desire to find a cure for him and end what they believed to be an “epidemic” of autism. Her undergraduate degree is in Humanities with a minor in Political Science. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of … I know where you live. People on the spectrum are still human, despite what others might be saying. But since Down’s syndrome and autism does not kill the person nor anyone around them, the only reason people would want to have such a test exist is out of ableism and quite possibly eugenics. April has ever since become a tough month for the autistic community in which they have to fight misconceptions about autism, urge others to stop raising money for Autism Speaks, and have to constantly hear about an organization that has treated them poorly and is claiming to represent them. Such ideas of integration do not require reforming the system we live in entirely. 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. A commercial included in the video which pales the previous one is a montage showcasing Autism Speaks’ accomplishments through their famous/infamous “Light it Up Blue” campaign. We will be sharing. In 2012, only 3% of Autism Speaks’ budget went to family services, while 36% went to salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Ten years later after the release of the “I am Autism” PSA, Billy Mann released an apology on his Facebook page to the autistic community on February 13th, but recently deleted the post due to backlash from the autistic community for having no intention to change his language, action, and behaviors to reflect he was sorry, as well as defending Autism Speaks for their actions rather than condemning them and owning up to his own and the organization’s faults. Page created in or before July 2012 (exact date unknown). Many of those people have medical conditions such as seizures and gastrointestinal issues, which should undoubtedly be treated. The college women’s fraternity, Alpha Xi Delta, also contributes over $1 million per year to Autism Speaks. 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. Among Autism Speaks’ largest donors is one women’s fraternity at Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois called, Alpha Xi Delta that has partnered with Autism Speaks in 2009 and raises over $1,000,000 a year for Autism Speaks, contributing over $10 million total and nearly $2 million last year alone. But as in many of Autism Speaks’ efforts, awareness of autism comes at the cost of awareness of autistic people. Autism Speaks preaches to aid autistic people, yet refuses to hire us. MSSNG is a database compiling 10,000 genomes of autistic people and their families that utilizes Google’s cloud software throughout different labs across the world. 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