I'm bipolar so I don't get autistic people's issues but I'm confused about the issues with Autism Speaks. Why are they bad? Autism is a mental disorder (according to the DSM-IV) so shouldn't there be a cure?
Trigger warning for ableism, suicide mentions, and general Autism Speaks talk
Hi, please take a moment watch this video:
Now imagine that they said all these things about you.
Imagine your brain being compared to deadly illnesses like cancer and AIDS. Imagine hearing that you will destroy your parents’ marriage, bankrupt your family, and ruin every public outing, simply by existing. Imagine hearing that the world would be better off if people like you never existed.
The onset of bipolar disorder varies. It may be that you remember a time before you had manic and/or depressive episodes.
In autism, it doesn’t work like that. We are autistic from the day we are born. Autism is very, very deeply ingrained into the brain. If you destroy autism, you’ll be left with the shreds of a human being. With something unrecognizable compared to the person you once had.
Autism is most likely genetic. How do you cure autism? By making sure that we are never born.
Given that a lot of autistic people are at risk for self esteem issues, depression, anxiety, and suicide, saying that we are better off not existing is really dangerous.
Autism Speaks spends its money on advertising, with hardly anything on family services. So, they’ll wail about how autistic children destroy our families, but they won’t reach out to help. After all, that’s not likely to give them much money.
Autistic people have been protesting against them for a long time. We want to be treated like worthwhile human beings, to not be compared to deadly disasters, to be helped instead of treated like dirt. We want help for issues like insomnia, sensory issues, and executive dysfunction, rather than some far-off and improbable of idea of a cure. We ask for accommodation and integration into society.
But Autism Speaks is not an organization for autistic people. Our voices mean nothing to them. Our protests are ignored. They’ve sent that message to us time and time again.
This is just a general summary, focusing more on their rhetoric. If you want details, I encourage you to check out the following information:
- wikiHow: How to Boycott Autism Speaks
- Joint Letter to the Sponsors of Autism Speaks
- Before you donate to Autism Speaks, consider the facts
Why I am Against Autism Speaks (and you should be, too)
- Why Autism Speaks Doesn’t Speak For Me
- I resign my roles at Autism Speaks
- So why is Autism Speaks bad? I’m confused
- There’s a ton more, but it’s stressful for me to read about how people don’t want me to exist, so I’m going to stop. You can find more info by searching “Autism Speaks bad” or reading the citations on the wikiHow article.
Autism Speaks is a group organized by non-autistic people who talk about how autistic children ruin families. They seek to eliminate autistic people forever, and have no interest in what autistic people want or think. They spend very little money on actually helping us.
If you want to support autistic people, please look for organizations that include and listen to us, such as ASAN, the Autism Women’s Network, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Network International, TASH, ADAPT, and wikiHow’s autism articles.