Reasons For Why Is Autism Speaks Badly
Because it doesnt help autistic children and adults as they promised. Autism Speaks is one of the largest autism organization, yet they are not focusing on autism affected people and their families. Only 4-5% of their funds actually helps people with autism. And as we compare, 22% of their funds are spent on fundraising efforts.
The organizations ultimate goal is End Autism
The ultimate goal of Autism Speaks is End Autism. The majority of their budget goes towards autism research. And this research is not for improving the therapies and equipment to help people affected by autism but to research for a cure for autism.
They are also trying to find a prenatal test for autism so that any mother shall no longer have autistic babies. No mother wants that their child hadnt been born because of his autism.
Not a single member of the organization is autism effected
Autism Speaks is one of the few organization which refuses to include disabled individuals on their board and in leadership positions. Without involving any individual with autism, they are trying to make decisions on the future of autism.
After criticization, they added John Elder Robinson, a person with autism. But later he resigned saying that the organization has no respect for an individual with autism.
UPDATE: After so much criticization, the organization has added autistic members to their board. This is a small step in the right direction but this cannot fix the damage this organization has done.
Whats Wrong With Autism Speaks
As probably the most well-known autism advocacy group in America, its understandable that parents or adults facing a new diagnosis might go to Autism Speaks for information and assistance. But if you spend any time in the autistic community, youll soon find out that they are neither respected nor appreciated, and with good reason.
The story that made me realize Autism Speaks was not to be trusted came from Diary of a Mom. I can no longer find the original post, but its quoted in the link above, about halfway through the post. It was just a quick vignette, the story of how Suzanne Wright, founder of Autism Speaks and grandmother to an autistic person, grabbed an autistic childs face and forced the girl to look at her. You should never touch another persons child that way to begin with, and you absolutely do not forcibly grab an autistic child.
That quick story told me all I needed to know: the founder of this group has no respect for autistic people and treats them like objects without any feelings or humanity worthy of consideration.
I didnt need any more convincing, but theres plenty more to tell.
Why Is Autism Speaks Bad
Autism is basically a disorder which includes the range of conditions characterized by difficulty in speech and social skills, repetitive behavior and pattern. There are many organizations and institutions which are doing research on Autism, its awareness, cure, and how to deal with it.
If you need more information or you have a question regarding Autism, you can discuss it with our HearingSol healthcare professionals, just give us a call on +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.
One of these organizations is Autism Speaks. It is founded in 2005. It is basically an autism advocacy organization which does research on autism and conducts awareness programs and activities aimed at families, government, and the public.
But recently some issues rose against the organization related to carelessness towards autism affected individuals. Find out some reasons for Why is Autism Speaks badly?
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Color In A Coloring Book
One of the simplest activities can have a profound effect on mental health and well-being. To reduce stress or anxiety, try coloring in a coloring book. You don’t have to be a child to gain other benefits such as improved sleep, vision, and focus. Adult coloring books and crayons are inexpensive, or use a kid’s coloring book if you’d like. The point is to forget about life stresses and focus on something simple.
Reimagined Autism Speaks Canada In Action
To reflect our commitment to diversity and inclusion, our iconic blue puzzle piece has been redesigned to include a spectrum of colors. The new more colorful logo signifies the diversity of perspectives and experiences with autism spectrum disorder and highlights our deepened commitment to inclusivity. Each element of the redesign is created to reflect not only our evolution as a charitable organization, but our vision for the future.
And while our mission remains the same, we invite you to re-download and get reacquainted with our work through some of our most commonly-accessed materials in our press room section.
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Autism Speaks Uses Disgusting Marketing Techniques
Autism Speaks says that they are all for spreading awareness of autism, but in reality, they are spreading only fear.
Over the years they have produced some really terrible videos to market their organization that portray children with autism as something to fear.
One of their videos is a commercial called I Am Autism which you can find on youtube here.
It shows like a horror movie including lines like I know where you live and If youre happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails and You are scared, and you should be.
They also made a movie called Autism Every Day where mothers talk about how difficult their lives are because of their children with autism with their children in the room.
Including a mother who says that she contemplated driving off a bridge with her child with autism, but only didnt because she also had a neurotypical child.
Seriously. She says it. You can watch here.
Overall, I just cannot in good conscience support autism speaks as the mother of an autistic child or as an autistic person myself.
I know that these arent common knowledge facts, but as you know more, you can do more.
Please do not support this organization. If you are looking for autism organizations to support, please check out the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network.
And if youd REALLY like to support more acceptance and understanding of autistic people, grab this free Autism Signs Cheat Sheet to share with others!
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The Money Doesnt Help Anyone
Autism Speaks claims to work to provide services for families, and it would be wonderful if they did. But only 1% of their budget goes to family services. 48% goes to autism awareness ads to further their brand. 20% goes to making more money. And 27% goes to research.
Keep in mind that Autism Speaks is claiming to help families with autistic children. These families are often left without support or insurance to cover the best care their children need. Thus parents are left without support for their children and must figure it out on their own. The best way to help them would be to work on providing helpful therapies, counseling, and information.
Even if you agree with their message, your donation would be pointless. It doesnt go to therapies which help families, nor does it go to special education programs, community living centers, useful research that studies the best ways to help autistic people thrive, or anything else that helps autistic people. At best, the donation is a waste. At worst, it harms the autistic community.
You may have noticed the section on research. This could mean many things, including research into the best therapies and ways to help autistic children. But if you do a bit of digging on their website, its easy to find out what the real intentions of this research are.
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Autism Speaks Has Also Had Controversial Ties To The Anti
Though the organization currently holds with the medical community’s consensus that vaccines do not cause autism, this was not always the message from Autism Speaks. As recently as 2010, they were still calling for additional resource into a possible link between autism and vaccines, despite the fact that the study suggesting a link to begin with had been universally discredited because it was based on fraudulent data.
Though the organization has never advocated for parents to withhold immunizations, many believe Autism Speaks’ years-long demand for more studies on a possible link contributed to a growing number of parents leaving their children at risk of contracting or spreading nearly eradicated diseases like measles and whooping cough.
There Are Other Organizations That Help Individuals With Autism That You Can Support
The Autism Self-Advocacy Network, according to their mission statement, work 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.” The Self-Advocacy Network does not receive the same criticism as Autism Speaks because by putting people with autism in charge of the conversation, the communitys needs are actually being communicated and met.
Paul Robison was Autism Speaks’ highest ranking autistic employee before he left the science advisory board. Paul Robinson left his post after Suzanne Wright published the op-ed Autism Speaks Point of View, which contained many messages highly offensive to the autistic community. Paul Robison describes in his letter of resignation that he choose to leave, not only because of Suzanne Wright’s insulting speech, but also because no one would address his repeated concerns about seeking a cure and the lack of representation while he was employed at Autism Speaks. Robison perfectly summarizes the problems the autistic community has with Autism Speaks with these two quotes.
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The Recent Hubbub Began Last Week When Autism Speaks Launched Its Birthday Hashtag
Kerry Magro was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old, and his life “was not always an easy one for my parents or me,” he wrote in a blog post. In college he landed an internship within Autism Speaks, which turned into a consulting job and then a full-time position.
“This March will be my two-year anniversary since I started with them full-time, and I will continue to be grateful for the opportunities they’ve given me, as well as the people I’ve met along the way,” he wrote. “They took a chance on me, and I’ll be forever thankful.”
Sketchy Associations And Practices
Autism Speaks also has a long history of questionable practices and associations. According to the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, less than 5% of the organizations budget goes to programs to help families, with roughly 20% spent on fundraising and over 40% dedicated to lobbying and awareness. For most of its history, the organization has been deeply ensconced with the anti-vaccination movement and other adherents of dangerous fringe theories. However, to its credit, the organizations website now specifically denies any link between vaccines and autism.
Autism Speaks has also promoted the Judge Rotenberg Center, which is the only institution that still legally uses electric shocks on its disabled residents. In January 2019, the FDA announced plans to ban that practice by the end of the year.
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Why You Need To Stop Using The Puzzle Piece To Represent Autistic People
I hate the puzzle piece. I hate it with every fiber of my being. Therefore, since in a lot of places its national autism awareness month, Im going to write about why you shouldnt use the puzzle piece.
First a little history on the puzzle piece. It was originally a national autistic society symbol. Its history is documented here , towards the end of the piece, but the important bits regarding the puzzle piece are quoted lower down here. .
That first logo was this.
A disembodied weeping head on a puzzle piece.
The Committee decided that the symbol of the Society should be the puzzle as this did not look like any other commercial or charitable one as far as they could discover. It first appeared on our stationary and then on our newsletter in April 1963. Our Society was the first autistic society in the world and our puzzle piece has, as far as I know, been adopted by all the autistic societies which have followed, many of which in their early days turned to us for information and advice.
The puzzle piece is so effective because it tells us something about autism: our children are handicapped by a puzzling condition this isolates them from normal human contact and therefore they do not fit in. The suggestion of a weeping child is a reminder that autistic people do indeed suffer from their handicap.
Image is of a ribbon with small puzzle pieces in bright, primary colours.
A rainbow hued infinity symbol.
Mom Uses Junk Science To Treat Child With Autism Shares It Online
I think that given the complexity and the variability of the causes and the manifestations of autism, trying to come up with a cure is probably not the right approach, said autism researcher and psychologist Len Abbeduto, director of the University of California, Davis, MIND Institute in Sacramento.
An estimated 80 percent of autism cases involve genetic factors, and it tends to run in families, but there is no single autism gene, Abbeduto explained. In fact, research has shown that more than 100 genes, and maybe upwards of 1,000, may play a role. Researchers also suspect that environmental factors such as exposures to infectious agents, pesticides or other toxins in pregnancy may play a role.
Scientists are investing a lot of work into understanding the genes but were also realizing its a lot more complicated than anybody ever thought when they started out, psychologist Ann Wagner, national autism coordinator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said.
Its highly likely that there are different causes for different kinds of ASD.
We do know that its highly genetic, we just havent identified how particular kinds of genes might interact with each other or with other factors to cause autism spectrum disorder, Wagner said. Autism is such a heterogenous disorder, so its highly likely that there are different causes for different kinds of ASD.
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There Is Not One Member Of Their Board With Autism
Autism Speaks is one of few disability charities that refuses to include individuals with disabilities on their board or in leadership positions.
They are trying to make decisions regarding the future of autism without consulting any individuals with autism.
In fact, after being criticized so heavily for this, Autism Speaks added John Elder Robinson, an author and autism advocate who has autism, to the board.
He later resigned because the organization had no respect for individuals with autism and he could no longer align himself with their beliefs. You can read more about that here.
For those who say that its simply that there arent autistic people interested and qualified, the Autistic Self Advocacy Networks board includes several autistic self-advocates.
*Update: Autism Speaks has responded to this criticism and has added autistic members to their board. While its a teeny, tiny, baby step in the right direction, it doesnt rectify the damage this organization is done.
What Can I Do Instead
If youve supported Autism Speaks before or even donated to them, dont feel bad. You arent a bad person, and this article isnt meant to attack you. As mentioned before, Autism Speaks is a master at brand imaging, and their true intentions are hidden beneath meaningless messages about acceptance and love.
The best thing to do is not feel terrible about yourself, but to move forward and do your best to help autistic people gain true acceptance. How can you do this? One way is to support organizations which help us.
The most well-known organization for this purpose is called the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. This organization is run by autistic people and seeks to promote equal rights and opportunities. It provides training and information to help encourage autistic people to self-advocate and gain autonomy. It supports community living centers, where people who need life-long support can live autonomous and fulfilling lives. It centers autistic voices in discussions on how best to support us and works to pass laws which protect our rights and ensure we have access to communication and therapies, all while protecting our human right to privacy autonomy. If you want to support the autistic community, this is the organization to donate to.
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Autism Speaks Does Not Allocate Its Funds To Directly Help People With Autism
In Autism Speaks’ most recent budget report for the 2014 fiscal year, it spent 15.7 million dollars of the 57.5 million dollar total on family grants, which directly aide families and people with autism. They also spent 23 million dollars on employee compensation with many of their board members earning six figures. Moreover, most of Autism Speaks budget goes toward research rather than to direct care. Autism Speaks has a history of not allocating its funds to appropriate research. In fact, its symbol, the puzzle piece, was created as a symbol of its purpose to find the missing pieces of genetic material to establish a connection with autism and genes. This sort of research is problematic because it is part of seeking a cure for autism and can be interpreted as an attempt at eugenics.
But The Vast Majority Of Responses Slammed The Organization
Autism Speaks is the most influential autism advocacy organization in the world, bringing in nearly $50 million in donations in 2013. It spends $15.3 million on scientific research, mostly looking for the root neurological and genetic causes of autism.
“Some of the research would stop us from being born, as it has with Down syndrome,” Grace said.
In contrast, the organization spent just $4.6 million on “family services” grants, which fund programs aiming to improve the care, education, and employment of autistic people.
“It would be wonderful if they spent money on things like helping poorer people with autism get job support and communication support, like iPads,” Grace added. She wishes Autism Speaks would listen to one of its slogans, “It’s time to listen.”
“It’s time to listen to us,” she said.
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