the autistic self advocacy network

PSA to our followers this Autism Acceptance Month:
  • Use Autism **Acceptance** Month (as opposed to Autism Awareness Month).
  • NO “light it up blue” or puzzle pieces. Google “Autism Speaks hate group” to learn more.
  • Use red or gold instead, which are colors supported by the autistic community.
  • Use identity-first language (most autistic people prefer “autistic” instead of “person with autism”), but don’t police the language of someone who prefers to be called a person with autism.
  • NO scare terms like “suffering with autism” or “afflicted with autism.”
  • Avoid functioning labels like “high functioning” or “low functioning.”
  • If autistic voices are not at the center of your efforts, you’re doing it wrong.
  • When in doubt, ASK AN AUTISTIC PERSON. 
  • To learn more about autism, visit autistic-run organizations like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and Autism Women’s Network (AWN).

Hey, so this was a project I did last semester - designing an infographic for an organization of our own choice. So I chose @autisticadvocacy - Autistic Self Advocacy Network. This is free to use and spread around. And please do, considering it’s April and so “Light It Up Blue” shit is going around.

  A link to view and download it (as a pdf) can be found here. (If you want to print it.)

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism awareness month and I just wanted to tell all of you to NOT support Autism Speaks Because they don’t care about Autistic people.

If you want to support an organization that actually DOES support Autistic people show some Support for ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) & The Autism Women’s Network

Both of these organizations were founded by Autistic People by Autistic People where as Autism Speaks doesn’t have Autistic people in their so called organization

ASAN can be followed on Tumblr @autisticadvocacy 

AWN  can be followed on Tumblr @autisticwomen

a quick thing for Autism Acceptance Day/Month!!

how to support autistic people this month:

  • don’t support Autism Speaks – it’s an awful “charity” that harms autistic people more than it helps them
  • do support organisations run by and for autistic people, such as the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network ( @autisticadvocacy​ ) and the Autism Women’s Network ( @autisticwomen​ )
  • don’t “light it up blue” for “autism awareness” – these things are heavily associated with Autism Speaks, and with the dangerous misconceptions it spreads about autism
  • do use the hashtag #RedInstead to fight back against #LightItUpBlue
  • do promote and celebrate autism acceptance (not just awareness!)

and, most importantly:

  • do listen to what actual autistic people have to say – we know better than our family members, “autism experts”, or any non-autistic person!!

I want people to be less afraid of autism.

Autistic kids need to be taught that they aren’t broken. Verbal or nonverbal, they can live happy lives and experience everything at the same capacity as everyone else. Autistic kids need to know this so that they don’t grow up into self hating adults, adults who grow up hating themselves for being a burden on their families or on society. 

I want autistic kids that aren’t afraid of themselves.

I want therapy that can teach autistic kids to be the best autistic kids they can be. I want nonverbal autistics to find a way to communicate in a way that’s comfortable for them. I want autistics to learn how to advocate for themselves and I want them to learn to love themselves and show themselves instead of repressing who they are. 

Parents of autistic kids need to be taught that their kid can live a fulfilling and happy life, because the current media representation of autistics is so bleak. The panicking, the feeling that they’ve somehow “lost” a child, is something that can be prevented with education and support. They need to see autistic adults on different ends of the spectrum, doing well and having fulfilling lives even if they aren’t fitting the neurotypical version of happy. I want parents that aren’t afraid of their children. want the anti-vaccine movement to be shut down, both for its poor science and for its ableist attitudes. I want children to survive deadly diseases instead of endangered by the fear of becoming like us.

I want autistic people to be more than “empty shells”, “changelings”, “stolen”, “missing”, “broken”. I want people to stop seeing murders as “justifiable” because they’re so, so afraid of disabled people.

Most of all, I want autistics to be seen as people.

I want a world that’s different from the one we grew up in, where neuroatypical children have the chance to be themselves without fear.
Red Instead, #REDINSTEAD Slime, Autism Acceptance (Not Awareness) Month Slime! Fluffy Strawberry Scented Slime

Happy April everyone!

This month I have this featured red fluffy slime in support of Red Instead! I’m taking a stand against Autism $peaks and their April Initiative “Light It Up Blue.” A$ uses this month to promote autism “awareness” instead of what we really need, acceptance. 

To learn more visit: and
Or send me a message for more resources or any questions!

The slime pictured here (which is a link to the listing) is in a small plastic heart shaped container. It is strawberry red, super fluffy, and has shiny red glitter peppered in. It is also strawberry scented! It is pictured on a white wooden windowsill, that is cracking.

***For every sale of this red slime, $1 will be donated to ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) with proof of donation provided on request (so I don’t out someone accidentally!)***


There’s this disgusting channel/user on Youtube who’s going around and not only harassing and starting keyboard wars with neuro-divergent people, but is putting out these disgusting videos, calling autism “Evil”, and supporting god awful “treatments” of autistic people. I’ve already reported this person, and if you give a shit, you need to as well (I can’t put the link to the channel or it won’t show up here, but just look up “ Seeing Clearly Media” on Youtube. 


And thanks. 

-Raven V. 

anonymous asked:

Not a writing question but I was wondering what your opinions on the organization Autism Speaks were.

Ah, thank you for offering us an opportunity to share something very important to us. For those who aren’t aware, there is an organization in the US called “Autism Speaks” which claims to be a charity working to help autistic people. They are not a charity. They are a hate group.

Autism Speaks is not run with the help of any autistic people. It’s run by allistic people who think of autism as a horrible disease that needs to be eradicated. They run propaganda ads talking about autism like a plague which is destroying lives. They compare it to cancer. One of their propaganda videos famously shows a member of their board talking about contemplating killing her autistic child - while the child is in the room listening to her. Their goal is to “cure” autism - to wipe it off the face of the planet. They don’t see autistic people as people, but as tragic burdens to those around them. They want to take care of all the poor moms and dads whose lives were so tragically ruined when they found out their child was autistic. And they support organizations that torture autistic people and call it “therapy”, like the Judge Rotenberg Center.

This is not a charity. They think of us as broken, inhuman monsters who should be expunged from society. They are not helping us - they’re trying to exterminate us.

Their propaganda is a big part of why there is so much misinformation out there about autism and autistic people. The average person is likely to believe their claims that autism is a horrible disease, that the best way to help the people who have it is to cure them and make them “normal”. Especially the parents of autistic children might like the idea of “fixing” their kid.

News flash: We’re not sick. Autism is not a disease. At worst, it can be considered a disorder or disability, depending on your definition of such, but the vast majority of autistic people are perfectly happy being who we are. Our biggest hurdle isn’t some terrible defect in ourselves - it’s the negative attitudes and lack of understanding in those around us, and the expectation that our primary goal in life should be to act less like ourselves and more like the “normal” people who make up the majority (pro tip: there’s really no such thing as normal). Autism cannot be cured, because it’s not an illness. Our brains are hardwired differently than others, and that is a fundamental part of who we are. If you asked me if I would like a cure, I would look at you the same way as if you asked me if I would like to remove the color from my pizza, because it makes the same amount of logical sense.

Imagine if someone asked you if you would like to stop being (insert your nationality here). Like, just completely remove it from yourself. What would that even mean? Removing all your memories and experiences from that country? Erasing your native language and replacing it with another one? How would that even work? That’s the kind of thing that’s being proposed here.

What autistic people need is awareness, education, and sometimes assistance, depending on our individual needs. We dream of a world where seeing a person rocking back and forth gently and not making much eye contact isn’t met with indignation, disgust, or pity, and where our strengths are valued (and we have many!).

It should be noted that recently, Autism Speaks has changed their official platform slightly, supposedly focusing less on a “cure”, but I’m afraid I don’t buy it for a second. Anyone whose goal includes a “cure” at all is not advocating for our rights, and even if they did have a different mission now, the damage is long since done. Many of us may struggle, and many of us may wish there were certain problems we could do away with, but a “cure” is not possible and our goal should not be to eliminate autistic people from the world, especially given how much we contribute to society. Very few autistic people would actually desire a “cure”, even if one were possible.

So what does this have to do with writing? If you’re writing an autistic character who gets help from a charitable organization, do NOT make it Autism Speaks. That’s not what they do. If your character has any interactions with Autism Speaks, it will be more along the lines of being told they are broken and must be fixed, having the people in their lives treat them as less than human (or as deformed or defective) because they have believed the propaganda, being told they have no right to speak for themselves, and possibly suffering abuse and even torture at the hands of those who think they are “helping”.

There are plenty of good charitable organizations to help autistic people with what we actually need. If you want your character to support an organization in your story (or support the organization yourself by giving them positive exposure in your story), try one of these (and a little Google-fu can help you find a local one for you if you don’t live in the US or UK - search terms like “autism advocacy” and make sure it’s run by actual autistic people). We strongly recommend contacting them, letting them know what you’re writing, and asking how you can include them in your story and represent their work accurately:

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Autism Women’s Network

Autistic Rights Movement UK 

-Mod Aira

glvhoca  asked:

Hello~ is there a reason for going "no blue" this month? I'm wondering what this means !

yes, it’s actually a very important issue! april is the month of autism $peaks, which is a very… not-good organization. they’ve made april into “autism awareness month,” but many prefer to call it “autism acceptance month”!! here are just a few articles on why A$ is so bad: (x)  (x)  (x)  if you want to support autistic people, i suggest instead checking out ASAN (the autistic self-advocacy network)! anyways, A$ has this thing called “light it up blue,” where blue supports autism $peaks and the “curing” of autism. the alternative is #redinstead, where autistic people speak up for themselves. as our own little rebellion against A$, many stim blogs (including me), aren’t posting/reblogging anything blue this month. I believe it was started by @stimmy-stim-stim !

anonymous asked:

Do you have any sources about A$ that don't come from blogs or other personal testimonials? They're great and informational, but to convince people I need info from a major news site or other recognized source. Thanks and great job running the blog!

An article from

Another Article from

And here is one from

An aritcle from Mother Jones. Com

One from The Elite Daily

An essay written on Autism Women’s Network (AWN) which is a big autistic group that should be listened to over autism $peaks.

And here is a list of articles written by Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Both ASAN and AWN are much much much better organizations to support as they include autistics in their activism and care about us.

Also, if the people aren’t listening to personal testimonials from autistic people, you should ask them why they’re ignoring the people who have the most say in whether or not an organization made for them is good or bad.

- Os

jr4cats  asked:

hello could you help me, i wanna write a story were onw of the characters is autistic i want a little help is there some sites about it

First of all, I’m very glad you turn to the autistic community. I’m sure you’ve seen this written a bunch of times, but just to be sure: please, please stay away from Autism Speaks. They demonize autism (basically saying autistic people ruin their families and would be better off dead). They promote a “cure” (which means aborting children that test positive for autism genes) and abusive “therapy”. A good post about why ABA is bad is HERE.
This is a very good post on what to look out for in research.

Tbh, I don’t go on other websites as much, so I’ll put some links of stuff that I know. For a general understanding, you can look into the DSM-V criteria (the offical criteria to diagnose autism). This won’t give you much to write a lively character, but with all the resources, it can be overwhelming. You should also definitely check out the organizations run by autistics, such as the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and the Autistic Women’s Network.

Autism is a spectrum. (See here for an explanation on what that means.) No two autistics are the same, and experience the world the same. An important tip I read was “don’t make autism their only defining trait” (it’s the same with race or sexuality, really). It’s tempting, since autism is literally affect how our brain works, but it’s better to do it in subtle ways e.g.

This is a very cute comic that gives an overview over common issues and how to be a good ally.

For inspiration and relatable things, you can definitely check out the #actuallyautistic tag! If you need examples for sensory things: Sensory hell and Sensory heaven
If you look on tumblr, you’ll find tons of examples for stimming. The trick is obviously to write it in a way that doesn’t degrade it (especially happy flapping has become a meme that basically says people who flap are R*tarded or just insane). That goes for all autistic behavior.

Another big topic is ableism. Warning: You will fuck up. We all do. I’m autistic and I still struggle with internalized ableism a lot. That includes automatically thinking autistic behavior looks weird, or not being able to express it, hell I haven’t even told more than four people in real life I’m autistic. Autistic is still used to mean something negative and you don’t shake that easily. Just be critical of your own thinking.
Ableism has many facettes, too many for me to line up here. Some include:

  • Not listening to us: People who talk are “obviously” too high-functioning to speak about autism, people who can’t talk are not assumed to be able to express an opinion.
  • Everyone has met at least one neurotypical who assumed they knew more about autism than an autistic person.
  • Medical ableism: Goes both directions. Either autistics are treated as if we could not make decisions, even as adults, or our problems are dismissed, especially other symptoms
  • Sexism: Women much less likely to receive a diagnosis or to be treated for medical problems both. Resources masterpost on autism in women
  • An article about lack of diagnosis in autistic women
  • Abuse: Can range from emotional abuse (e.g. guilt tripping, gaslighting) to physical (e.g. provoking a meltdown / sensory overload on purpose), usually both
  • Generally just ignoring an autistic person’s boundaries.
  • “Autistics are only worth something if they have a special talent” (basically Rain Man)
    -> dehumanization in general, “we’re not human for not having certain traits / abilities”

There’s also this huge debate on self-dx (see this post for example). In many places diagnosis is expensive and can have a lot of disadvantages (e.g. looking for jobs). Self-dx involves a shit ton of research, months and years of it, really. (Just like you are doing now!) My humble opinion: Psychologists fuck up as well, see the ableism section.

Here is a post on how to get diagnosed as an adult.
And here is a post on self-dx!
Here’s my story of getting diagnosed (maybe less relevant, but take it as a real life example)

Media representation of autistic people is unfortunately complete garbage for the most part:

This post has a lot of notes with people telling what irks them about media representation of disability in general.
Here is a post on why The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time )a pretty popular book that we read in school as “education” about autism) is a bad representation
A post on ableism in the series “Good Doctor”
I couldn’t find a cohesive review of the show “Atypical” and I haven’t seen it myself, nor do I intend to, but if you go in the #atypical tag the autistic community is very clear that it’s bullshit (and also backed by Autism Speaks, so big surprise)
Billy from the new power rangers is autistic! And from what I’ve heard he’s actually well-written. (A post about what the writers did right.)

Things to avoid (unless you present it in the context of ableism / being negative) :

  • cure rhethoric
  • functioning labels / mental age rhetoric (See this post)
  • The distinction aspergers and autism (I can’t find the post explaining in detail why it’s bullshit but here’s the short version: Aspergers is an outdated concept (in the new DSM-V it doesn’t exist anymore, you’re just autistic) and it has been used to separate the “good” autistics from the “bad” (it’s ableist and a functioning label basically)
  • Here’s also an explanation on Aspie supremacists
  • emotionless character
  • person first language (Here is a post on why PFL is bad)
  • white little boy with special interest in trains (they do exist, but it’s overdone)
  • he’s autistic BUT- (insert special ability) Click Here

Here is a post explaining our preference for the autism label above others
Here is another post on writing autistic characters
Lastly, I recently found a very good post about the difficulty of calling a character autistic in writing, you can check it out here.

I probably forgot a ton of important things, so if anyone wants to add something, please do so; or shoot me a message, whatever is more comfortable.

anonyoungmom  asked:

I created this blog to tell my journey of being a young mom with an Autistic 2 year old & I'm so scared for him to grow up in this cruel world & be teased for his diagnosis. He's currently in ABA therapy, which has helped him a lot since he's started.<3 Reading all of these posts from Autistic adults/teens makes me feel more hopeful for his future. My question is how can I help him grow up with the confidence he needs to succeed emotionally? Should I tell him he's Autistic when he's older? When?

It’s great that you want your son to succeed emotionally! That’s a wonderful goal to have for your child. There are several things you can do to help your child succeed. 

The first is to tell your child he is autistic as soon as possible. Start using the term autism around him like it’s just another word. Explain it to him in a way that is age appropriate and continue to expand on this as he gets older. Start by telling him that he is autistic and it just means that he is different from other kids sometimes and that’s great! Present autism as a good thing to him. Make sure he knows that different doesn’t mean bad. 

As he grows older, casually explain to him different aspects of autism that affect him. Explain stimming to him. Explain meltdowns to him. Explain social differences and eye contact and special interests and all the things that make him different and unique. Acknowledge the challenges, but emphasize the good. If you need some ideas about the good parts of autism, check out this post. 

Another important thing for his emotional success is to be sure that any therapies you have him in are actually useful to him and a positive experience (at least as much as is possible). You mention that you have him in ABA. This is concerning for me because ABA is used to refer to a range of therapies but the original form of ABA is very harmful to autistic people. However, a lot of therapists call their therapy ABA in order to have it covered by insurance, so you’ll need to evaluate what exactly this therapy is that your son is in. 

Do they discourage stimming? Does this therapy make use of aversives? Does this therapy force your son to do things that are distressing for him? Is the goal of the therapy for him to be “indistinguishable from peers?” If the answer is yes to any of these, it may be true ABA, and if that is the case, I would suggest pulling him from this therapy as soon as possible to prevent any harm. ABA often leads to PTSD or c/PTSD for autistic people later down the road. The following are some resources on ABA to help you figure out if your son is in true ABA or another therapy just using the name. 

The goal of therapy for an autistic child should be to help them in areas in which they find difficulty. If something isn’t causing your child duress, it doesn’t need to be addressed in therapy. For instance, stimming is a way we regulate ourselves, both our senses and our emotions, and can be a form of expression. As long as we are not hurting ourselves or others, there is no reason for this behavior to be stopped. Even if it is embarrassing or not normal. However, if a child is having a lot of meltdowns, therapy to find the cause of the meltdowns and help change the environment/situation to better accommodate his needs is a great therapy. Speech therapy to work on a lisp or other speech difficulty can be very beneficial. Occupational therapy for any motor difficulties can be super helpful. There are so many beneficial therapies that can help with the difficulties of autism, but ABA is not one of them. 

Again, one of the best things you can do for your child to help him succeed emotionally is to reinforce the idea that different is good and that autism helps make him the unique and wonderful person that he is. Make sure autism is something he can feel proud of rather than ashamed. If he has confidence in himself and a supportive family at home, he’ll be more resilient to any potential bullying he may face. 

Some other things you can do to help your son, include getting involved in autism advocacy with your son. Find a local branch of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) or another local autism organization that is supported by autistic people, not just parents. There are a lot of organizations that focus on the parents of autistic children while ignoring the needs of autistic people who can speak for ourselves, find the others, the ones who listen to autistic people. 

As a part of your advocacy, make sure that diversity is covered in his schools. If there’s not much already there, see if you can do a presentation to the students about what autism actually is. Don’t single out your son or make it about him, but rather educate the students (and staff, honestly) about what autism is and isn’t and how they can be respectful of their autistic classmates. This may not be possible, but if would be a great thing to do if it is. 

Further, never publish anything online about your son that is negative that could possibly be used to identify him. Never use his name or picture or other identifying information when talking about meltdowns or bathroom troubles or any other unflattering aspects of autism. If you need support for these things, definitely make posts or send in asks, just don’t identify him. That could come back to hurt him later on and is a violation of his privacy. 

Finally, feel free to send us as many asks as you need to in order to help your son. We are always welcome to questions from family members who want to know how to support their autistic loved ones. 



ASAN Vancouver’s protest at the 2016 Autism Speaks walk in Burnaby, BC.* Part one! Photos by Marvin Schaber :)

[Photoset description: A series of six photographs taken of the attendees, the colourful signage, the flyers we distributed, and the location of ASAN Vancouver’s protest against Autism Speaks. We set up alongside a paved path that the Autism Speaks event used as the walk route.

There is a table set up with signage that says “Free Earplugs” and “People Not Puzzles” that is holding flyers and earplugs. Signage with the ASAN Vancouver name, logo, and a QR code stands next to the group.

Some of the signs say, “Listen to Autistic adults”, “Support Not Cure”, “Autistic rights are human rights”, and “Protest against Autism Speaks”.

Two visible flyer titles say “What’s the Problem With Whole Body Listening?” and “Neurodiversity”. End of image description.]

*Correction: No brain, it was not. It was in Richmond this year.

Autism is a neurological variation that occurs in about one percent of the population and is classified as a developmental disability. Although it may be more common than previously thought, it is not a new condition and exists in all parts of the world, in both children and adults of all ages. The terms “Autistic” and “autism spectrum” often are used to refer inclusively to people who have an official diagnosis on the autism spectrum or who self-identify with the Autistic community. While all Autistics are as unique as any other human beings, they share some characteristics typical of autism in common.

1. Different sensory experiences. For example, heightened sensitivity to light, difficulty interpreting internal physical sensations, hearing loud sounds as soft and soft sounds as loud, or synesthesia.

2. Non-standard ways of learning and approaching problem solving. For example, learning “difficult” tasks (e.g. calculus) before “simple” tasks (e.g. addition), difficulty with “executive functions,” or being simultaneously gifted at tasks requiring fluid intelligence and intellectually disabled at tasks requiring verbal skills.

3. Deeply focused thinking and passionate interests in specific subjects. “Narrow but deep,” these “special interests” could be anything from mathematics to ballet, from doorknobs to physics, and from politics to bits of shiny paper.

4. Atypical, sometimes repetitive, movement. This includes “stereotyped” and “self-stimulatory” behavior such as rocking or flapping, and also the difficulties with motor skills and motor planning associated with apraxia or dyspraxia.

5. Need for consistency, routine, and order. For example, holidays may be experienced more with anxiety than pleasure, as they mean time off from school and the disruption of the usual order of things. People on the autistic spectrum may take great pleasure in organizing and arranging items.

6. Difficulties in understanding and expressing language as used in typical communication, both verbal and non-verbal. This may manifest similarly to semantic-pragmatic language disorder. It’s often because a young child does not seem to be developing language that a parent first seeks to have a child evaluated. As adults, people with an autism spectrum diagnosis often continue to struggle to use language to explain their emotions and internal state, and to articulate concepts (which is not to say they do not experience and understand these).

7. Difficulties in understanding and expressing typical social interaction. For example, preferring parallel interaction, having delayed responses to social stimulus, or behaving in an “inappropriate” manner to the norms of a given social context (for example, not saying “hi” immediately after another person says “hi”).

Autism is diagnosed based on observation by a diagnostician or team of diagnosticians (e.g. neuropsychologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker, etc).

—  Autism Self Advocacy Network

anonymous asked:

Hey i'm sorry to bother but i have to do an assignment about autism for school but i don't want to be rude or offend someone. Do you have any reliable sourse or maybe something i should avoid saying? Thank you i love your blog

of course! here’s a quick list:

  • don’t use autism speaks as a source (autistic people don’t like it, it’s dehumanizing and ableist. just stay away from it and everything they promote in general.)
  • avoid sources that mention curing autism or call it a disease, an epidemic, blame vaccines or video games or the water supply, or implies autistic children are a burden to their families.
  • you can say “autistic.” it’s not a dirty word. academic writing usually promotes “person first language”, as in, “people with autism” rather than “autistic people.” but the autistic community has no problem self-identifying as autistic, and cannot be separated from their autism. “person with autism” implies that autism is a condition, while in reality most autistics feel that it is an intrinsic and inseparable part of who they are. “having autism” has no effect on whether or not you are a person and it should be understood without having to be explicitly stated that autistic people are people.
  • avoid in any way referring to autism as a “disease” “illness” or “abnormal” or anything of that nature. autism is very normal and autistics are not weird, they’re autistic. you can refer to autism as a disorder in the context of how it is diagnosed, but be careful to avoid implying that all autistics are inherently disordered.
  • avoid using language like “high/low functioning”. functioning labels are not useful to autistics and are instead used by non-autistics to categorize them by degrees of how “normal” they are.
  • instead of using words like “unusual” or “abnormal” try using language like “less common” or “less socially acceptable.”
  • avoid implying that autism is a new thing or that it’s rapidly growing. it’s being diagnosed more frequently, but autistic people have always existed (and u can find a lot of them in a history book, even if they weren’t diagnosed). also, don’t forget about autistic adults! children grow up!
  • avoid the picture that autism is a white male thing!
  • if you need academic sources to back up anything that i’m saying, if your teachers try and argue with you (i got into an argument with a teacher about using the word “autistic” in my thesis so it can happen) use ASAN (autistic self advocacy network).

anonymous asked:

I am confused and don't want to be attacked, but I have a question. What is Autism Speaks and what about it is bad? I genuinely want to be able to support those with Autism and don't want to devote time or energy into something that is counteractive, and would like to have an idea of what they're doing wrong to make sure that I don't mindlessly agree with whatever they are doing. Thank you so much!

Hey there anon, I totally understand. A lot of the general population is unaware of exactly how awful Autism Speaks is, even I didn’t really know what was going on with them until sometime in the last few years. They market themselves as a charity for Autistic people, but they’re actually incredibly ableist and a large part of their manifesto concerns the eradication of autism and autistic behaviours. This is often at the expense of the mental health of autistic people. 

It’s pretty late, so I’m just going to cover some main points here. Also I’m not adding sources at this time, I may come back and edit it to add them in. Or if someone wants to reblog with sources I’d be eternally grateful, but I’m just working from memory right now (btw if I start sound angry it’s not because of you, this topic just gets me worked up I’m glad you had the courage to ask). 

1. There are no autistic people working for autism speaks. A group of allistic people get to make decisions that have a huge impact on a lot of autistic lives without any kind of input from autistic people themselves, and you can probably see why that’s pretty messed up

2. Very little of the money that goes to autism speaks is actually put towards any kind of services. Most of it goes to lining the pockets of the company (possibly a bit of a blessing in disguise, I don’t really want them to dedicate MORE resources to what they’re doing) 

3. ABA therapy. If you google ABA therapy the first result that comes up is a page that defines this as a therapy programme that promotes positive behaviour change in autistic people. What this actually means is that autistic children are taught that their behaviour is bad and are trained to suppress any kind of autistic expression in order to appear more “normal”. I cannot stress enough the kind of psychological damage this does to a child. I’ve spoken to people who were put through ABA therapy and it has always, ALWAYS had long lasting negative impacts on their mental health. ABA therapy is child abuse, and autism speaks bloody loves it. 

4. They also support shock therapy. For children. They claim it’s been shown to reduce autistic behaviours. Imagine hating autistic children so much that you’d be willing to subject them to electrocution to make them more normal. 

5. Part of their mission statement is to “cure” autism. I can and have written full essays on why that offensive and ableist, but I’m keeping this as brief as I can (which is already very not brief) so suffice to say that my autism is entirely inseparable from who I am as a person. Autism speaks thinks that my existence is a disease that has to be cured and I really can’t stress how harmful that idea is. 

6. They’re just generally very anti-autistic. I know that’s not really a point so much as a vague observation, but their entire manifesto seems to be based on how much they despise autistic people. They don’t believe in our autonomy, or our basic human rights. They think we’re just broken machinery, and there are so many children subjected to their attempts at repairing us. It’s a really awful thought. 

So those are my key points, there may be stuff I’m missing but like I say it’s late. I hope this is at least a helpful starting point for you. If you type the phrase “Autism speaks is bad” into google you’ll actually find a lot of pages that can explain in more detail and with sources. 

Thanks for the ask anon, I appreciate you taking the time to make sure you’re support autistic people the right way. If you’re looking for a good charity to support, I’d recommend the autism self advocacy network. It’s an international charity founded by autistic people and they’re dedicated to protecting our autonomy and learning to accept and appreciate ourselves. Have a good evening! 

anonymous asked:

I dont know if this is something you can answer but WHY do moms think autism is all about them?! Iv had it with looking into thought pieces about autism and its just all these moms talking about their bravery and people looking at them at the store because of their son. Is their a website or something like The Mighty but its all by actual autistics. I really like some of the things on that site but with all the moms and the fact Autism $peaks is a contributor I just wish there was better.

Because ableism. I don’t really have a better answer than that for why Autism Moms™ turn everything about autism around so it’s about them. It’s very frustrating and often done so at the expense of their children. 

I haven’t found a site like the Mighty run by autistic people, but reading the blogs of autistic people can be a good place to start. The first three sites listed below are the closest to the mighty in terms of content. The rest are blogs by autistic people that I enjoy:



Image description: The first photo shows me (a white-passing, femme young adult person) sitting in a wheelchair, holding one sign in my hands and with one leaning against my legs. The first sign says, “Got questions? Autistic adults are the best resource of parents of autistic kids.”. The second sign says, “Autistic rights are human rights #lovenotfear”.

The second photo shows myself in my wheelchair with my signs and three other femme people who are all also holding signs. The visible signs are rainbow coloured and say “Love not fear”, “Think posAUtive”, “Autism Speaks does not speak for me!”, and “Autism is Awesome”. There is a small table behind us with a sign that says “free earplugs”, a box of earplugs, and ASAN pamphlets on top.

Pictures from Vancouver ASAN’s protest at the Autism Speaks walk this morning. I made those two signs I’m holding, Alanna made the rest of the signs, and Marvin took these photos. A few more people ended up coming so there were seven of us there (and Marvin). I think we all did good work today!

Now I’m going to go lie down and never get up.

The boxheaded bird has an important message to say about April!
Remember, ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) is run by autistics, for autistics! 

[a messily drawn birdlike bipedal creature with the ASAN logo on their chest, with “I AM NOT YOUR PUZZLE” written next to it in black letters]