Reminder to not support autism speaks this month! They’re a horrible organisation for multiple reasons:
1. Despite being called “autism speaks”, not a single member of their board is autistic. Not even one.
2. Only 3% of their budget is spent on family services, while a whopping 44% of their budget goes to research, and only a small amount of that is actually used to help autistic people. The majority is spent on finding a cause and a “cure”, as they see autism as an illness to be treated.
3. They have made several incredibly problematic videos, one of which even features a board member talking about how she considered driving her and her daughter off a cliff due to her daughter’s autism. The worst part? Her daughter was right there with them.
4. Their campaigns are designed to create fear, stigma and prejudice. Instead of educating people, they spread the misconception that autistic people are a burden on society. They use awful stereotypes and frequently devalue our lives.
5. They have six figure salaries. A charity organisation aimed at helping autistic people has no autistic board members and pays the board members they do have six figure salaries. If that doesn’t reek of taking advantage of us for profit, then I don’t know what does.
6. They have worked with the Judge Rotenberg Center.For people who’ve heard of that, that’s probably enough to make you realise just how horrible they are. For those who haven’t, a quick google search is in order, however keep in mind that what you’ll find is really quite horrific.
Before someone complains about sources, a quick google search can direct you to solid sources for every single one of these facts.
So now that you’re a little more educated, who should you be supporting this month?
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)
A group by autistic people, for autistic people. Provides support, community, and public policy advocacy.
Autism Network International (ANI)
Another autistic-run self-help and advocacy organisation. Every year they host an autism conference called Autreat, designed to be accessible and welcoming to autistic people.
Autism Society of America
This group works to increase public awareness of day-to-day issues faced by people on the autistic spectrum. They also advocate for appropriate services for autistic individuals at all stages of their life, and provide the lastest information on research, education, advocacy and more.
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with donating to a charity, but make sure it’s the right one. Especially this month. Every single year, autistic people are spoken over constantly during a month that’s supposed to be dedicated to raising awareness for them. Please, don’t let that continue.
And again, a quick google search should turn up sources to back up every single one of these facts and more.