May. 5th, 2013

sophronia_chaos: (neurodiversity)

I was recently diagnosed as Autistic, but I have suspected I was ASD for nearly a decade. As you may know, Autism $peaks, an organization that is supposedly an autism charity, turns April in the USA into Autism Awareness Month. Since Autism $peaks does far more harm than good, I posted a Facebook status about how horrible it is almost every day of April (I was Internet-less for a few days, and I didn't post anything about A$ during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers). Below are said Facebook statuses.

-Friendly reminder: Every time you support or donate to Autism $peaks, you might as well be slapping someone on the Autistic spectrum in the face, and then proceeding to stab them in the back. Think about that this April before you "light it up blue" *gag*.

-I think of Autism $peaks is an ableist hate group disguised as a charity.

-Supporting Autism $peaks means supporting sympathy for neurotypical caregivers who abuse or even kill the Autistic people under their care.

-Autism $peaks does not have a SINGLE Autistic person on their board of directors.

-Autism $peaks created a short film called “I Am Autism”. It featured an ominous voice saying things like “I am autism…I know where you live…I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined…I will make sure your marriage fails.”

-When the myth that vaccines cause autism was circulating, Autism $peaks' "awareness" campaigns urged parents to NOT vaccinate their children. Autism $peaks presented autism as being worse than life-threatening diseases such as pertussis and measles.

-Autism $peaks is responsible for a short film called “Autism Every Day”, in which an Autism $peaks board member claimed that having an Autistic child was so exasperating, she had a desire to kill both herself and her Autistic daughter. She said this right in front of her daughter.

-(TW: murder, suicide, ableism) Katie McCarron, a three-year-old Autistic child from Illinois, was suffocated to death by her mother--who killed herself a day later--in 2006. The murder occurred just four days after the initial release of "Autism Every Day." Yes, the short film by Autism $peaks in which an A$ board member said in front of her Autistic daughter how much she felt like killing her daughter and herself. I can only hope this was a coincidence, but it's still tragic.

-For all their talk about "easing the ~*~burden~*~" of families with Autistic children (*gag*), Autism $peaks only spends 4% of their budget on “family services”.

-Autism $peaks’ “awareness” campaigns present Autistic children as burdens on society. Autism $peaks almost completely ignores Autistic adults. I’m not sure about that, though, because I’ve never seen anything from Autism $peaks regarding Autistic adults…wait…never mind. They had one token Autistic on some advisory board (NOT the board of directors).

-44% of money raised by Autism $peaks goes to research geared toward eradicating/preventing the births of Autistic people, usually by “curing” us. Again, this is after they beg for donations to "ease the ~*~burden~*~ of families with Autistic children".

-Even if Autism $peaks weren't within spitting distance of being an ignorant, ableist hate group, it is very financially irresponsible. Its fundraising expenses exceed spending on most of its core programs, and Charity Navigator rates its financial health as 2 out of 4.

-In 2007, Autism $peaks merged with another autism-related “charity” that was widely loathed by Autistic people. This “charity” was called Cure Autism Now. Please keep your “cure” off my brain.

-Autism $peaks incorporates 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. Or getting consent from the Autistics whose meltdowns have now been made public.

-Autism $peaks 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 was bullied into taking it off the web).

-I don't have an Autism $peaks fact for today, so have an opinion: the fact that an all-allistic (except for a token member here or there) organization is called "Autism $peaks" makes allistics think that Autistic people can't speak for themselves about their own experiences...because they're Autistic. Does nobody else realize this is like having an organization of people without epilepsy forming an organization called Epilepsy Speaks and claiming that epileptics can't be involved because they're epileptic??

-Autism $peaks presents Autistic people in one of two lights: the "tragic", endearing "Autistic angel" and the shrieking, rocking, nonverbal, meltdown-having ~*~burden~*~. This is particularly prevalent in their videos. And it makes it difficult for people who haven't been educated on autism for reputable sources to accept Autistic people who don't fit either of those stereotypes.

-You know, the Autism $peaks "light it up blue" campaign has nothing to do with us Autistic people. It has to do with their logo, which happens to be blue, and is a puzzle piece, which implies that we're puzzles to be solved instead of people.

-Okay, something else about Autism $peaks...I really wasn't expecting to have trouble with 31 reasons why Autism $peaks is awful. I guess...I really hate those "the chances of your child becoming a jazz-singing astronaut dentist are 1 in a googolplex and the chances of your child being diagnosed with teh autizm is 1 in 88 even though it's more like 1 in 143 according to Annual Review of Public Health" PSA/commercials. What exactly are you trying to say with that, A$?

-Autism $peaks presents autism as a disease and/or series of deficits, not a neurological difference.

-If not for Autism $peaks, more money would be donated to REAL autism charities like ASAN.

-Remember how I said Autism $peaks bullies Autistic people who openly disagree with them? Well, this status isn't saying anything new, but it is giving you an example now. Straight from the horse's mouth. http://aspieweb.net/aspieweb-being-bullied-by-autism-speaks/

-Autism $peaks'"Autism Safety Project" (as seen on their Web site) promotes the prevention of Autistics engaging in any sexual activity as opposed to assuring that it is safe and pleasurable for us, and making it seem that the fact that disabled people are more likely to be sexually assaulted is an individual problem, not a societal one.

I also had one status that was simply this image, which I took as a screenshot during one of my Google searches for further info on A$:
image

 

Resources (as well as some of the links in the above screenshot):

http://www.autistichoya.com/2012/07/georgetown-say-no-to-autism-speaks.html
http://healthmad.com/mental-health/im-autistic-but-autism-speaks-doesnt-speak-for-me/
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/05/19/336513/-An-Autistic-Speaks-About-Autism-Speaks
http://fromonesurvivortoanother.tumblr.com/post/17765289011/littlemissmutant-a-lot-of-the-data-that-ive
http://autisticadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Autism_Speaks_Flyer.pdf

And of course, I must always mention goldenheartedrose’s master post on why Autism $peaks is reprefuckinghensible. http://goldenheartedrose.tumblr.com/post/17644810872/so-whats-the-problem-with-autism-speaks

October 2013

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