Those were the words spoken by Autism Speaks co-founder, Suzanne Wright, during an interview in Nantucket on August 14, 2013. Your neighbors are happier to pretend that I don’t exist, of course, until it’s their child. Suzanne Wright’s call to action letter has since been removed from Autism Speaks’ website, but has been archived here. Since its introduction and passage in 2006, Autism Speaks heavily lobbied for and supported the Combating Autism Act. When looking at the poll, mostly neurotypical people voted for person first language, while mostly autistic people responded for identity first language. He starts out talking about his love for Christian’s sense of humor and their time of diving together. Sia’s film is an ableist mess and as an autistic, I am fucking sick and tired of neurotypical actors pretending to be autistic and I’m sick and tired of ableist narratives being presented as representation. A 2019 issue of Diversibility Magazine has a PSA by Autism Speaks. – In the Loop About Neurodiversity – International Badass Activists, Things you should never say to an autistic author – Author Dahlia Donovan, Sia’s New Movie, “Music” is a Missed Opportunity for Authentic Disability Representation. 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. Autism Speaks leadership is not Autistic and they run adds that don’t accurately portrays autism. Choose which you prefer then tell us hwy as well as your connection to autism in the comments. Simone Greggs also turned down another job offer from the Democratic National Committee because she was expecting to work for Autism Speaks. It has pictures of autistic people not looking straight at the camera with the caption, “One time is a bad photo. Putting identity first means embracing autistic identity rather than separating autism from people. 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. 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. "Autism Speaks's idea of representing Autistic people is absolutely crazy." I had no idea it was such a polarizing group! Autism Speaks is not the only harmful or ableist organization that claims to be an “autism charity.” But it is among the most influential, and continues to silence autistic people to this day. Another simple thing Autism Speaks could do is use identity first language, but as seen by its social media accounts, the organization does not intend to do this, either. All three of these organizations support research into causes, treatment, and cures/prevention of autism. (6) Autism Speaks promotes animosity against Autistic (disabled) people. All it takes are some subtle changes to the environment, as well as changes in perspective and attitude. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Co-founder Suzanne Wright touted that the “Autism Epidemic” was a burden the world could not afford, and something had to be done to eradicate it. Well, little of that money actually went to hurricane victims at all, but to executives, administration, and PR. Their current (neurotypical) president, Angela Geiger, was appointed in 2016. Bob Wright is extremely wealthy, and is the vice chairman of General Electric and was the CEO and chairman of NBC Universal from 2001 to 2007. April is the month when a world that already characterizes autistic people as dangerous, incapable children musters all of its remaining ableist spirit to raise awareness of the perceived horrors of the disease. 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. What is wrong with you?”, bullies and blocks autistic people on Twitter. Simone Greggs, a mother with an autistic son, filed a lawsuit against Autism Speaks in 2012 after they rescinded her job offer. A prenatal test for babies with a life-threatening heart condition or something deadly could certainly be beneficial so parents can prepare. 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. Autism Speaks additionally has many celebrity supporters. 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. Other Subtle Ableist Phrasing And you’re scared. 25% went to science grants and awards, 5% went to travel, lodging, meals, catering, and entertainment, and 4% went to advertisements and marketing. Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.”. “They do that because they see that the productivity loss here is significant,” Wright said. ✊✊✊ #BoycottAutismSpeaks #HaltAutismSpeaks . 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. The flagship programs of Cure Autism Now included the AGRE, Autism Treatment Network, Clinical Trials Network, and Innovative Technology for Autism. After outcry from the autistic community, whether it was purely a business decision or whether they really did want to respect autistic people, they listened and we are thankful they did so. 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. And that means part of your population is not only not productive, but they have to be cared for.”. 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. “If you’re going to lose one to two percent of your male population to autism, that means they’re not going to be productive. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of … Their updated mission statement is, “Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Blue lightbulbs can even be bought at Home Depot, one of Autism Speaks largest sponsors, during the month of April. Some people with autism cannot speak … Its logo uses the ableist puzzle piece for autism, a symbol that has promoted ableism since the 1960’s. 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. Autism Speaks chapters and other fraternities and sororities continue to spread ableist rhetoric about autistic people, such as the “Autism: Putting the Pieces Together” event by the Georgetown University Omicron Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in April, 2013 that had no representation of autistic people, but did have an Autism Speaks representative. Again, causes and interventions is prioritized over supporting the needs of autistic people. Billy Mann is a musician and a board member for Autism Speaks, and his celebrity status and influence in the music industry had convinced numerous celebrities in the music industry, such as P!nk, Dave Grohl, and Paul Simon to support Autism Speaks. I know no color barrier, no religion, no morality, no currency. Mattias’ tale is told through animation rather reminiscent of a cross between children’s drawings and an indie rock music video. Soldiers of Odin has white supremacist roots with a Finnish Aryan group and has harassed refugees. One that undoubtedly stands out is the one featuring Mattias Wright, who is the grandson of Bob and Suzanne. They don't listen to what autistic people have to say. Its most controversial PSA titled, “I am Autism,” released in 2009, characterizes autism as a demon or a monster. 5. 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. Autism awareness is passive, and many people are already aware about autism, but not nearly as many people are accepting of autistic people and their needs. Autism, while it varies in complexity, is a diversion from neurotypicality. 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. ” as if Autism was taking her grandson away from her, awareness of Autism is increasing and president Autism. 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