As promised, here are 20 reasons why Autism Speaks is an ableist hate group.
Content/trigger warning: filicide, ableism, eugenics
Autism Speaks presents autism as a disease and/or series of deficits, not a neurodevelopmental disability.
Autism Speaks is responsible for a short film called “Autism Every Day”, in which an Autism Speaks board member claimed that having an Autistic child was so exasperating, she had a desire to kill both herself and her Autistic daughter. She said this right in front of her Autistic daughter.
Katie McCarron, a three-year-old Autistic child from Illinois, was suffocated to death by her mother in 2006. This murder occurred just four days after the initial release of “Autism Every Day.” Yes, the short film by Autism Speaks in which an AS board member said in front of her Autistic daughter how much she felt like killing her daughter and herself. I can only hope this was a coincidence.
Autism Speaks also created an ableist, scaremongering short film called “I Am Autism”. It featured an ominous voice saying things like “I am autism…I know where you live…I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined…I will make sure your marriage fails.”
Autism Speaks’ “awareness” campaigns present Autistic children as burdens on society. (This is the exact language they use. They use the word “burden”.)
Autism Speaks almost completely ignores Autistic adults. I’m not sure about that, though, because I’ve never seen anything from Autism Speaks regarding Autistic adults…wait…
Autism Speaks has only two Autistic people on their 26 strong board of directors. This is why we (the Autistic community, or at least a lot of us) say “Nothing about us without us”. 2 of 26 is not representation.
As mentioned previously, Autism Speaks almost completely ignores Autistic adults and does not have any Autistic people on their board of directors. Want to know how bad their lack of involving Autistic adults in their…uh…efforts is? Until 2019, they only had one token Autistic person on an advisory board.
Autism Speaks presents Autistic people in one of two lights: the “tragic”, endearing “Autistic angel” and the shrieking, rocking, nonverbal, meltdown-having ~*~burden~*~. This is particularly prevalent in their videos. And it makes it difficult for people who haven’t been educated on autism for reputable sources to accept Autistic people who don’t fit either of those stereotypes.
Even if it weren’t a fucking hate group, Autism Speaks’ fundraising expenses exceed spending on most of its core programs, and Charity Navigator rates its financial health as 2 out of 4.
44% of money raised by Autism Speaks goes to research geared toward eradicating/preventing the births of Autistic people, usually by “curing” us.
In 2007, Autism Speaks merged with another autism-related “charity” that was widely loathed by Autistic people. This “charity” was called Cure Autism Now. Please keep your “cure” off my brain. Eugenics is a No.
Autism Speaks involves meltdowns in almost all of their videos. They seem to think that embarrassment over a public meltdown is more important than why the meltdown is taking place. Not to mention this is an egregious violation of the consent of the person having the meltdown.
Autism Speaks has used legal threats in the past to bully autistics who don’t agree with their messages (one built a parody website—perfectly legal—but was bullied into taking it off the web: http://aspieweb.net/aspieweb-being-bullied-by-autism-speaks/).
For all their talk about “easing the ~*~burden~*~” of families with Autistic children (*gag*), Autism Speaks only spends 4% of their budget on “family services”.
If not for Autism Speaks, more money would be donated to REAL autism charities like ASAN and AWN.
Autism Speaks’ “Autism Safety Project” (as seen on their Web site) promotes the prevention of Autistics engaging in any sexual activity as opposed to assuring that it is safe and pleasurable for us, and making it seem that the fact that Disabled people are more likely to be sexually assaulted is an individual problem, not a societal one.
Autism Speaks’ logo is blue to represent that more young boys are diagnosed as Autistic than young girls. Women are under-diagnosed thanks to the propagation of the “more common in boys/extreme male brain” theory developed by that ableist shitpile Simon Baron-Cohen—I have to do an entry on him and his bullshit—and propagated by Autism Speaks and similar organizations. (Autistic women are not the only underdiagnosed population; more on that later.)
Autism Speaks’ logo is a puzzle piece to represent the ableist idea that autism is a puzzle to be solved and fixed.
Autism Speaks’ “awareness” campaigns used to urge parents to NOT vaccinate their children. Autism Speaks presented autism as being worse than life-threatening diseases such as pertussis and measles.
And of course, I must always mention goldenheartedrose’s master post on why Autism Speaks is reprefuckinghensible. http://goldenheartedrose.tumblr.com/post/17644810872/so-whats-the-problem-with-autism-speaks
Mentally ill activist and angry Disabled loudmouth. Neuroqueer as hell.