Autism Society Of America
What They Do: Autism Society of America has chapters throughout the United States, though it is ultimately a grassroots organization. It offers offers personalized support, insight, and advocacy. Autism Society of America also runs an online database of local information and recommendations for families and professionals.
How Donations Help: Autism Society of America is a not-for-profit 501 organization, and donations are tax deductible. Donations help support:
- autism education
Uc Davis Mind Institute
What They Do: UC Davis enjoys a wide reputation as a leading force in all things medical. Indeed, the UC Davis Medical Center includes the MIND Institute, an organization focused on research related to the diagnosis, therapy, and education of autism. Its mission is to bring together experts from every discipline related to early brain development working together toward one goal: finding and developing treatments for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The Institute routinely conducts high-level, peer-reviewed studies with larger groups than many other organizations are capable of.
How Donations Help: Donations to the MIND Institute at UC Davis go towards funding the many high-level and peer-reviewed studies the Institute conducts each year.
Autism Speaks Doesnt Speak For Everyone With Autism
- NICK HUGHES | Special to LNP
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that affects about 1 in 59 U.S. children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Autism Speaks is an international charity organization that works to promote awareness about autism. After looking at the finances and graphs that Autism Speaks has published, I have an issue. An issue with a lot of charities I have noticed. Why is so little of the money raised by charities actually used for charity work?
According to Charity Navigator, a watchdog website, Autism Speaks spends only 74.6% of its funds on programs and services 5.7% on administrative services and 19.6% to raise money. It gets only three out of four stars from Charity Navigator and an 80% overall score.
Autism acceptance should be about autistic people. Thats doesnt seem to be the focus of Autism Speaks.
According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autism Speaks uses its platform and advertising budget to portray autism and autistic people as mysterious and frightening. Their fundraising tactics increase stigma and create barriers to the inclusion of autistic people in our communities.
As a person with autism, I think I should be allowed to have an opinion about what is good for autistic people. There are a lot of people saying what is good for me and there is no backing or proof for their claims. Autism Speaks does not understand my autism, and I doubt the organization ever will.
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Mind Institute At Uc Davis
The UC Davis MIND Institute was founded by parents and is focused on research. The Institute conducts a wide range of research studies while also providing diagnostic and therapeutic services, education, and other programs.
According to its website, the founders “envisioned experts from every discipline related to early brain development working together toward one goal: finding and developing treatments for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities.”
Over the years, it has consistently conducted high-level, peer-reviewed studies with impressive results. Because of its funding, expertise, and status, the MIND Institute has also been able to conduct very large autism studiessomething that many smaller groups do not have the resources for.
In addition to autism, the MIND Institute focuses on understanding Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
How This Insidious Organization Controls The Narrative Of Autism And What To Support Instead
May 23, 2020-= Image Graphic Edits and Image Manipulation by Keira Fulton-Lees, As.D =--= Image of Square Peg/Round Hole Character Image by fliegenwulfshutterstock.com =–= Image of Blue/White World Map by titoOnz on =-
If you search up charities for autism, Autism Speaks will probably be at the top of the list. If you use Instagrams donation feature to fundraise for a charity, Autism Speaks is one of the first popular charities to pop up. Thousands of well-meaning people who wish to support the autistic community light it up blue and proudly display the puzzle piece symbol. These are good people, not evil autism haters. Autism Speaks is a master at publicity. Thats where most of its money goes making its brand image look better. Its no wonder people fall for it. I did myself.
Yet Autism Speaks is one of the worst organizations to donate to when it comes to supporting autism rights. Their agenda may not be as frank as some others. You wont find any articles screaming about the evils of autism and vaccines. They supported the anti-vaxxer movement for several years but have since attempted to wipe it from their image. Sesame Streets partnership with Autism Speaks features ads that emphasize acceptance and love for autistic people. If thats all I knew of Autism Speaks, I would have thought they were a great organization.
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Autism Speaks Is Searching To End Autism
Autism Speaks has the ultimate goal of ending autism, by any means necessary.
The majority of their funding goes towards autism research.
Not research for improving therapies and equipment that helps individuals with autism, but research for a cure for autism.
They are also trying to find a prenatal test for autism, similar to the one that they have for Down Syndrome so that mothers will no longer have autistic babies.
As a mother of a child with autism, I wouldnt change a hair on his head. His autism does not define him, but it definitely plays a role in who he is. I would never take that away, and I would never, ever, wish that he hadnt been born because of his autism.
And frankly, as an autistic person, I cant believe an organization that claims to represent me honestly wishes I were never born.
The Autism Community In Action
What They Do: Formerly known as Talk About Curing Autism, The Autism Community in Action is a non-profit organization. It provides education and support to individuals and families living with autism. According to its website, the organizations vision is for every individual diagnosed with autism to lead an independent life.
How Donations Help: The Autism Community in Action currently has a three-star rating by Charity Navigator. Donations to the organization help fund the various programs offered at no-cost to families and individuals. These programs include:
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Six Of Pentacles And Seven Of Swords Tarot: Charity Scams
Every time a commercial depicts something so sad, such as abandoned and sick animals, or children, or different countries suffering, you cannot help but feel so bad to the point of donating to their charity. The purpose of these commercials is to pull on your heartstrings, and they often work. However, the question is, if that happened to you, did you donate to a legitimate charity or a scam charity?
Quick Navigate This Post
Understanding The Puzzle Of Autism Speaks
Joining charities like the American Cancer Societys Relay for Life and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks has recently been afforded significant national exposure, giving it similar status as other household name titans of charity. Major League Baseball has teamed up with the group, over two hundred college and university groups have helped to raise awareness, and major cable news channels have participated in Autism Awareness month. The Autism Speaks brand has certainly been on the rise.
Following that trajectory, last week was certainly a busy week for the organization they teamed up with Sesame Street, partnered with on a major Genome Project, and their college surrogates have sung their praises in the public square, all while mourning the electoral loss of their friend, majority leader Eric Cantor .
However, as the week concluded, the Daily Beast asked Autism Speaks But Should Everyone Listen?, reigniting the debate surrounding the organizations controversial past. The article has been picked up by watchdog groups and has reinvigorated Twitter hashtag #BoycottAutismSpeaks.
To summarize, the article provides a comprehensive, descriptive history of the organizations questionable background:
2) Autism Speaks pays its high level officials quite well, with at least thirteen individuals taking in well into six figures. For example, the Daily Beast article explains that Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson took in $465,671 in 2012.
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How To Choose An Autism Charity
If you have a child, family member, or friend with autism spectrum disorder , you may want to donate to a charity that supports autism research or people living with autism. There are many to choose from, so start by considering details such as how you want your donation spent and then learning as much as you can about the organizations you’re most interested in.
Best Charities For Autism
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Autism Charities Worthy Of Your Donations 2020
Considering Autism Spectrum Disorder now affects 1 in every 59 children, chances are you know or are related to someone with autism. This may mean you have the desire to support the autism community by donating to an autism-related charity. But simply donating to a charity with the word autism in its title isnt the best way to go about this. For example, would you rather donate to a group with the mission of curing autism, or one which aims to support those with autism and their families? Does it matter to you that an organization only works with those in a particular state or region of the country? How about if only pennies from every dollar go towards an organizations stated mission?
In order to help you research organizations and choose the right one for your money, weve written 20 Autism Charities Worthy of Your Donations. To come up with our list, we read mission statements, talked with those active in the autism community, and consulted watchdog websites such as CharityWatch and Charity Navigator. Keep scrolling for 20 organizations we believe are worthy of your hard-earned money.
They Spend A Lot Of Money On Executive And Independent Contractors Compensation
Form 990 Part Part IX line 5: Compensation for key employees $3, 154, 665. This isnt total compensation, this is just for the highly paid, top executives. There are 18 people in AS who make in excess of $130,000.
Total compensation for all of AS would also include lines 7, 8 and 9 which adds up to $14,620,085.
Line 11 includes all the amounts paid to independent contractors including government lobbyists, public relations firms as well as legal, accounting and management firms. The total amount paid out is $2,864,784.
Do I have a problem with charities paying their employees a reasonable, competitive wage? Absolutely not. Do I have a problem with an autism charity spending 5 times as much on compensation, public relations, lobbying, etc than on autistic people and their families? Yes, I do.
For every dollar you donate to AS, less than a dime goes to autistic people and their families but 41 cents will go towards compensating AS executives, employees and independent contractors.
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Autism Speaks Has Changed Its Mission
By A. Stout
Autism Speaks is undoubtedly one of, if not the largest and most well-known autism charities in the entire world. They have done good work for the cause. For example, theyve raised autism awareness to an unprecedented level the popularity of their Light It Up Blue campaign is proof of that. However, it is a very contentious organization among the autism community, particularly due to its mission to find a cure for autisman extremely controversial goal that the organization was founded on.
However, Autism Speaks has recently changed their mission, removing all traces of curing autism from their statement. It now reads:
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.
What has caused the change? As Stephen Mark Shore, a new board member with autism, says, Similar to many experiences of parents of children with autism, the organization grew to believe that autism is something to be worked with for promoting fulfilling and productive lives of people on the spectrumrather than something that has to be done to.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
What They Do: The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a nonprofit organization run by and for individuals with autism. According to its mission statement, the Networks goal is to empower autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us.
How Donations Help: The Autistic Self Advocacy Network spearheads a number of initiatives each year. All are largely supported by donations. These initiatives include:
- public policy advocacy
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The Autism National Committee
What They Do: According to its website, The Autism National Committee is the only autism advocacy organization dedicated to Social Justice for All Citizens with Autism. It was founded in 1990. The Committee aims to protect and advance the human and civil rights of all persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related challenges.
How Donations Help: The Autism National Committee is entirely run by volunteers. Every penny that is donated by the public goes towards providing outreach through:
Other Ways To Give Back
If you you have limited money to donate or would rather get involved in a more hands-on fashion, here are some of the things you can do:
- Join a fundraising march or similar event. These events are a great way to get to know other people who share your interest in autism and are willing to get involved.
- Take part in a clinical study. If you live in or near a research center , you may be eligible to help with autism-related research. Studies usually involve kids or adults on the spectrum, but may also include siblings and/or parents.
- Volunteer as a mentor or buddy or help to run a program, team, or event that specifically includes people on the autism spectrum.
- Become an autism advocate in an organization such as the YMCA or Boy Scouts. These groups are more than willing to include kids on the spectrum but don’t always know how to do so successfully.
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Autism Speaks Does Not Speak For Autistic People
The organization treats autistic people as problems to be fixed instead of actually listening to their voices.
When it comes to donating to charities, there are some people that may want to help the biggest or most prominent one. Autism Speaks is one of those charities. Yes, it seems to be one of the most popular: many celebrities have donated to the cause, people have participated in their annual walks, and even the White House took part in the organizations annual Light It Up Blue campaign.
However, many people who are autistic dont support the organization. And given the organizations past antics they have good reason. I used to support it back when I didnt know about their past, but once I learned more about it, I decided to take my support elsewhere. At one point I even wanted to start an Autism Speaks chapter at my community college, but that was many years ago and I have learned a lot since then and I am still learning more to this day.
In 2009, they made a very disturbing commercial titled I Am Autism that says the disability is worse than cancer and AIDS and blames autistic children for their parents divorcing. Basically, the video calls them a burden:
What that video should have shown is all the progress that can be made all the good moments. Maybe have the kids that are able to talk say something.