Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why I Am Against Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the most prominent autism organization, so many people wonder why so many autistics are against Autism Speaks. This is why I am against Autism Speaks.

First off, Autism Speaks' budget doesn't give autistics much of what they need. Autism Speaks' funds mainly go to awareness and research, with only 4% going to services. Plus, its awareness portrays autism as a tragedy and the research it funds tries to find prevention and cure for autism.

Its awareness often says that autism is a tragedy. It often says that autism has taken away the real child. It tries to portray autistics as burdens by saying things like how much it costs to care for an autistic child. It uses functioning labels, which are inaccurate and often lead to under or over-estimation of an autistics abilities. It also uses the medical model (I have written about its flaws in this post). It spreads many other myths, too, such as autistics being worse at Theory of Mind than neurotypicals and that autism is an epidemic.

Its research into the causes of autism often equates correlation with causation. Doing so is bad science. Also, those studies are often used to scare people into thinking autism is a tragedy.

Also, there are no autistics on its board. This makes the name "Autism Speaks" misleading. In fact, Autism Speaks silences autistics while claiming to speak for them. A more accurate name for Autism Speaks would be "Parents Putting Words in Autistics' Mouths".

Also, Autism Speaks supports ABA. However, ABA, when done in the way it is intended, is abusive. Many autistics have reported getting PTSD from being subjected to ABA.

This is why I am against Autism Speaks. What actually supports autistics are organizations such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

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