Why I #BoycottAutismSpeaks by Mina K

People are still sending in submissions to the flashblog!

This is a great piece from a 13 year old young woman, Mina K, who is a sibling and the daughter of an Autistic mother.  She wants the world to know why she and her family boycott:

Crusading against Hate: Why I boycott autism speaks flashblog
Crusading against Hate: Why I boycott autism speaks flashblog on a bright yellow background

I want to tell you why I boycott autism speaks. Two years ago my mom came to talk to me and my brothers to tell us that we were going to stop shopping at some stores. She told us what the stores were, and then told us the names of other stores we were going to shop at instead. We asked her why we couldn’t go to those stores anymore. She said we were boycotting them. She then asked us if we knew what a boycott was. My brother said it was like when black people in the sixties did the bus boycott because they were forced to ride in the back of the bus. My mom said yes. Then she told us that even though people think autism speaks is good it really isn’t. She opened up her phone and showed us 2 videos. One was called I am autism and one was called Autism every day. When we finished watching the videos, we wrote down what they made us think after each one. My brothers said it was ok for me to tell you what they said. Here is what my brothers wrote after the first one:

“My name is D.W. and I am 12 years old. Autism Speaks really hurts people. I watched “I Am Autism.” That’s not the whole thing about autism. We have a sister and brother who have autism. What you say is not true. It’s not true about how autism people do and feel.”

“My name is A.W. and I am 9 years old. Watching “I Am Autism” made me feel scared. Like my autistic brother and sister will affect me or infect me or something, like they said, or they will do something bad. People who think about autism like that will make everybody scared of people who have autism. It made me think maybe I should feel scared of my little brother and sister. If I could talk to Autism Speaks about this, I would say you are sick.”

Here is what my brothers wrote after they watched the 2nd one:

“My name is D.W. and I am 12 years old. I watched “Autism Every Day.” I thought it was rude what the people said about the kids in front of them. The kids can hear! That was mean. And you don’t know—that lady said her son will never get married. You don’t know what that little boy is going to be when he grows up. People change. I bet the reason that girl said she wished her sister didn’t have autism is because she heard her mom say that before. This is making me mad. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

“My name is A.W. and I am 9 years old. I watched “Autism Every Day” and I hated it. I don’t even know if I want to talk about it either. It made me really sad when the lady said she wanted to drive her kid off the bridge. You’re not supposed to kill your kid just for no reason, just ‘cause of autism. And they weren’t teaching the kids right. Why did that person grab the boy’s hand? When he was stimming he was happy. When they grabbed his hand, he felt trapped and started crying.

Why were there so many white people in the video? Does Autism Speaks think Asians and Hispanics and Blacks don’t have autism? Why weren’t there any dads? Maybe the people were mad because they got divorces and decided to blame their kid and blame autism. Who cares if you can’t have a bagel? Take it to go. At least you have a kid. Lots of people have something different about them. At least they’re alive.

Those people made me sad. They need to try harder to like their kid.

Autism Speaks is really bad for people who don’t know anything about autism. And for people who know about autism.

If my little brother and sister saw that video, I bet it would make them feel really sad. I bet it would make them want to kill themselves.”

I couldn’t show my mom what I wrote after watching the video because the video made me mad and I wrote a lot of bad words and curse words about autism speaks. I’m not going to write them here either, but I am going to say why I am proud of my family for boycotting. I am proud because my mom and my little brother and sister are autistic. They don’t need to be cured and people who are pregnant who find out the baby might be autistic don’t need to kill their kid because the kid is autistic. Autistic people are not some monsters. They are really smart and they have their ways of doing things just like we have our own ways of doing things. I would never want someone to try to cure my family because they don’t need to be cured. Autistic people need help but so do other people with disabilities and people with no disabilities. We all need help with stuff. A lot of people know about autism speaks and they could help people understand autism better but instead they make people scared of if. I have a disability too and it makes me sad to think maybe someone could have though I shouldn’t be born.

I think the world is better because of autistic people. When my little sister was small she didn’t talk a lot. We had to figure out how to understand her without words. It takes longer but it isn’t bad. Just cos something is harder doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s harder to comb long hair than it is to comb short hair but no one says all long hair is bad and we should get rid of it. Different hair works for different people.

When i tell people I have autistic people in my family they say they’re sorry. They think it’s a sad thing. I don’t want people to think that. No one says they’re sorry if you say your favorite color is red or your favorite color is blue. They just say ok. I have to keep boycotting until autism speaks decides to change because i don’t want any other kids to think they should have to be ashamed of autistic people. I love my mom and my little brother or sister just the way they are. I don’t care that they are autistic and you shouldn’t care either.

-Mina K

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