Why I am Against Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is by far the most well-known charity that exists in the USA regarding autism. Just because they have the most media coverage and celebrity support does not mean they are a good organization.

  • Autism Speaks does not have a single autistic member on their board.
  • Autism Speaks only spends 4% of their budget on “family services”.
  • The majority of Autism Speaks’ money goes toward research, and the majority of that research is to find a way to rid the world of autism, and thus, autistics.
  • Autism Speaks produces advertisments, small films, etc. about what a burden autistic people are to society.
  • Autism Speaks was responsible for “Autism Every Day”, which featured a member of their board talking about contemplating murder-suicide of her daughter in front of her daughter. This has now be removed from Autism Speaks’ Youtube channel but can still be found elsewhere.
  • Autism Speaks is responsible for the atrocity known as “I am Autism”, a short film comparing autism to cancer, AIDS, and blaming autism as the reason why marriages break up.

In short, Autism Speaks makes it much harder for those of us who have autism to be taken seriously. Autism is considered to be a child’s “disease” (which isn’t really accurate at all, as a disorder and disease are two different things, but Autism Speaks treats it as a disease), and you will often hear people say “where are all the adult autistics?” Well, we’re right here in front of you. We may have been misdiagnosed with learning disorders, mental retardation (now referred to as intellectual disability) and other mental illnesses when the diagnoses of autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s weren’t as precise (or even existent) as they are now (there are also a few variants of autism or autism-like disorders that I don’t mention here, like Rett’s, but these are far less common). We vary in where we fall on the spectrum. Don’t make assumptions about us because we can use a computer.

For further reading, here are a few resources about Autism Speaks:

Why Autism Speaks is No Good for Autistics.

Autism Speaks Does Not Speak for Me.

I’m Autistic, But Autism Speaks Doesn’t Speak for Me.

An Autistic Speaks about Autism Speaks.

Chart regarding Autism Speaks’ funding allocations

ASAN flyer about Autism Speaks

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3 thoughts on “Why I am Against Autism Speaks

  1. You’re missing the most important thing that any informational post needs; citations. You need sources. For example, you say “…the majority of that research is to find a way to rid the world of autism, and thus, autistics.” When making a statement like that, it is entirely meaningless speculation unless it is accompanied by an official source, either from the current/active website or documentation from that organization or by an actual government organization.

    I’m glad to see you making an effort to express your views, but don’t be half-assed about it or it just seems like sour grapes.

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  2. From what I’ve read/heard about Autism Speaks, it sounds like a real POS organization. I have absolutely no intention what. so. ever of becoming involved in it in any way or form.

    Like

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