Written by: Kim
Originally published HERE
I’ve done quite a few pieces on why I #BoycottAutismSpeaks
I’ve written plainly about Why
I’ve written about how they use token Autistics for damage control
I’ve written about lies about funds to my state
I’ve written to the sponsors outlining all these reasons
Most recently there was an article in People magazine featuring Bob and Suzanne Wright calling the heroes. the title of the article was “Crusading against Autism” with a subtitle of Suzanne saying they gave a voice to a voiceless community. Claiming we are a voiceless community is about as ridiculous as it gets, but being extreme and fearmongering is how the Wrights make their money, it’s their marketing style. You can view the article HERE
I don’t want to focus so much about the Wrights or that article though. I want to talk about the things people have said that have been perpetuated by the messages Autism Speaks has sent out. I’m not sure if it’s pure hate or just a lack of understanding because of the picture AS has painted of autism. It’s probably a bit of both after all hate is usually fueled by a great deal of ignorance (willful or not).
Below are just two very mild examples of the type of comments commonly heard:
The first screenshot shows exactly what parents say to us all the time. I know this person is a parent because they left a link
to their site.
We are told we should not stand up for our selves and that WE are responsible for the division.
They have had the message sent to them that their voices matter more than actually Autistic people’s voices do and we are bad bad bad for pointing out the unfairness in their strategies. Blaming the victim is a way of silencing the person and controlling the situation. It is abuse and it is perpetuated by Autism Speaks
I #BoycottAutismSpeaks because Autism Speaks allows people to abuse Autistic people in more ways than one.
The second screenshot is a little hard to understand but the jest of it is clear enough. This person thinks that since we are
proud of who we are, demand respect, can type on the internet that our disability MUST BE “MILD”. But they also cite we are suffering? *shakes head* Yes we suffer, from society’s ignorance and unwillingness to accept us.
It is a misconception that people who are significantly disabled can not have happy and fulfilling lives, be proud of who they are and actually protest against hate. Autism Speaks is largely responsible for this stereotype through their marketing and advertising.
I’m not sure what special treatment this person is referring to… I supposed wanting to be treated as a human being is special treatment.
If Autism Speaks actually included Autistic people in their organization and listened to them they would know what we really need and how we actually feel. They would understand the problems we truly face instead of seeing us as a problem.
I guess feeling proud while asking for supports seems to be something that no one wants to promote. You don’t have to dehumanize a group of people just to get them supports. However, Autism Speaks isn’t interested in getting us appropriate supports, they are more concerned with exploiting us and making money.
Autism Speaks has the PERFECT (very large) platform to help on a number of issues facing the Autistic community but yet they continue to work against us claiming us to be voiceless when in fact they are just NOT LISTENING.