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I’m Autistic, But Autism Speaks Doesn’t Speak for Me

Autism Speaks is not what the autistic community wants conveying autism to the world.

Do NOT support Autism Speaks.  If you want to give to an autism charity, great! Don’t donate to Autism Speaks; rather, pick a charity such as the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (for autistics by autistics). I am autistic myself, and this so called charity is detrimental to autistic people. I have never communicated with an autistic person who didn’t despise Autism Speaks for any/all of the following reasons.

  • Autism Speaks portrays autism in a very negative way with words such as “suffering”, “hopeless” and “epidemic”. Autism isn’t all negative, but from this organization, all the world is seeing is the bad side.
  • Autism Speaks implies through the media that it is the ultimate power to decide what autistics need and want.
  • Autism Speaks doesn’t have any autistic people working for the company making decisions such as what to do with the money ect…
  • There is no proof that the money goes to help autism.
  • 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 got bullied into taking it off the web).
  • Now, Autism Speaks has issued a series of videos such as I Am Autism (I am autism. I have no interest in right or wrong. I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams ect…) which raise fear and don’t allow for the accurate understanding of the needs of autistic people. These videos present autistic children as burdens on society. All these views are huge misrepresentations of what autism really is.
  • One video features a mother who, in front of her autistic daughter, says she contemplated driving off a bridge because of autism.
  • Autism Speaks involves meltdowns into 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.
  • Autism Speaks advocates a “cure” for autism, which most autistics strongly disagree with. Autism is part of our personality; taking away our autism would take away what makes us ourselves.

Autistic people need an organization to help them be who they are, not change them entirely. We don’t need an organization that harms the autistic community. We do not want to be represented as a puzzle piece. Please, do not support Autism Speaks. They are not the organization we want representing us. What’s wrong with neurodiversity? 

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  1. A brilliant article and you are a great inspiration

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