- 10:24 pm - Sun, Jul 17, 2011
- 16 notes
“I ordered a normal son, but guess what? God gave me one that was special.”
Woman with an autistic child
This is more than slightly problematic.
- 9:22 am - Sat, Jul 2, 2011
- 1,020 notes
1. Autism Speaks talks about us without us. Not a single Autistic person is on Autism Speaks’ Board of Directors or in their leadership. Autism Speaks is one of an increasingly few number of major disability advocacy organizations that refuse to include any individual with the disability they purport to serve on their board of directors or at any point in their leadership and decision-making processes. In large part this is due to Autism Speaks’ public relations strategy of presenting Autistic people as silent burdens on society rather than human beings with thoughts, feelings and opinions.
2. They use fear and stigma to try and raise money off the backs of our people. Autism Speaks uses damaging and offensive fundraising tactics which rely on fear, stereotypes and devaluing the lives of people on the autism spectrum. Autism Speaks’ advertising claims that Autistic people are stolen from our own bodies. Its television Public Service Announcements compare having a child on the autism spectrum to having a child caught in a fatal car accident or struck by lightning. In fact, the idea of autism as a fate worse than death is a frequent theme in their fundraising and awareness efforts, going back to their “Autism Every Day” film in 2005. Indeed, throughout Autism Speaks’ fundraising is a consistent and unfortunate theme of fear, pity and prejudice, presenting Autistic adults and children not as full human beings but as burdens on society that must be eliminated as soon as possible.
3. Very little money donated to Autism Speaks goes toward helping Autistic people and families: According to their 2008 annual report, only 4% of Autism Speaks’ budget goes towards the “Family Service” grants that are the organization’s means of funding services. Given the huge sums of money Autism Speaks raises from local communities as compared to the miniscule sums it gives back, it is not an exaggeration to say that Autism Speaks is a tremendous drain on the ability of communities to fund autism service-provision and education initiatives. Furthermore, while the bulk of Autism Speaks’ budget (65%) goes toward genetic and biomedical research, only a small minority of Autism Speaks’ research budget goes towards research oriented around improving services, supports, treatments and educational methodologies, with most funding going towards basic research oriented around causation and genetic research, including the prospect of prenatal testing. Although Autism Speaks has not prioritized services with a practical impact for families and individuals in its budget, its rates of executive pay are the highest in the autism world, with annual salaries as high as $600,000 a year.
— Ari Ne’eman, ASAN President.
(Source: , via themalebridgettice)
- 9:31 pm - Fri, Jun 24, 2011
- 3 notes
Bad decision - being pro-neurodiversity in a YouTube comments thread
(I knew full well I’d probably get defensive shit. Still disappointed in humanity though.)
Comment thread is from a video of an anti-Autism Speaks protest. I’m moviemonkeys, arguing with layne24.
autism is a spectrum disorder, and those with severe autism are a burden on their family. Having witnessed it first hand, it is very hard on the parents. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love them unconditionally or wouldn’t do anything for them, it just means that it is hard to raise a child with severe autism. To me it seems like a lot of people are confusing aspergers with severe autism. - layne24
@layne24 Neurodiversity isn’t solely for “high-functioning” Autistic people. And “hard on the parents” is never an acceptable excuse for centering abled people in discussions of disability. Kindly educate your damn self. Search for fyeahautismspectrum and ballastexistenz, for a start. - moviemonkeys
@moviemonkeys Are you saying Autism isn’t difficult for parents to cope with? - layne24
@layne24 no. I’m saying that people with disabilities should be centered in the discussion about their disabilities. ever think about what autistic children have to put up with? personally, I was abused by relatives and “friends” and my sister tried to murder me. and when they grow up they’re still stigmatized by people like you. think on it. and read the words of autistic people who speak about autism, like the two keywords I suggested. fyeahautismspectrum.tumblr.com - moviemonkeys
People like me? WTF have I done to stigmatize anyone with Autism? Maybe I and the rest of the world should just go back to not giving a crap about Autism or people with mental handicaps. Just accept that there are people trying to help. You have a lot of misplace anger pal. Sucks about what happened to you, but it wasn’t mine or AS fault, we are the ones trying to help. - layne24
Sorry about what happened to you, but neither Autism Speaks or I did that to you. There are people out there that are helping, whether you want that help is up to you, but there are many families that need it. I have never stigmatized an Autistic person in my life, you need to be careful of your words. - layne24
@layne24 okay I give up. you’re just being willfully ignorant. if you one day acknowledge the very REAL oppression of people with disabilities (including autistic people), great. but you are refusing to right now. I’m gonna block you, and leave you (again!) with three sites: fyeahautismspectrum, ballastexistenz (NOT written by a “high functioning” person), and search for “radical neurodivergence speaking” - moviemonkeys
@layne24 comparing autistic people to car crashes is not “help.” read the words autistic people write about autism. also, fuck your condescension. “misplaced anger” “you need to be careful of your words”
you are a lost cause on this issue. I regret ever engaging with you. I hope no autistic person ever has to put up with your bullshit.
sorry you’re so ignorant, but it’s your choice and I gave you a chance. goodbye! - moviemonkeys
Submitted by Eric, I suppose to document a real example of how defensiveness plays out? I dunno. You don’t have to post this if you don’t want to.
FYI, calling people burdens, propagating the “high/low functioning” dichotomy, and defending Autism Speaks is stigmatizing.
- 8:13 pm - Thu, Jun 23, 2011
- 8 notes
Review of John Elder Robison’s “Be Different”
Since Robison’s book Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian was released in March, it’s been getting overwhelmingly positive reviews. I’ve offered a much more critical review over on the Community blog at Feministing.
- 7:52 pm - Tue, Jun 21, 2011
- 14 notes
[Image: a tweet from yanhadd: “When the Police refer to discrimination against autistic people as political differences, what chance do we have.”]
- 10:26 pm - Wed, May 25, 2011
- 12 notes
[Image: The whole thing is on a white background. Taking up approximately the upper 60% of the image is the Autism Speaks logo (a blue puzzle piece with the text “Autism Speaks: It’s time to listen.” below it) saying “exterminate” in the Dalek typeface used in the 1960s comics or whatever. Below that is the text “Do not listen to them. They are bigots. They are lying to you. Autism is not a disease. Allistic brains are no more healthy than autistic brains. The dominant cultural narrative about us is wrong and does not help us at all - it only harms us.” Below that is the text “A message from the actual Autistic people at Fuck Yeah Autism Spectrum. Who you should be listening to. Because it actually affects us and we aren’t talking out of our collective ass.” To the right of that is the infinity symbol with a left-to-right rainbow gradient, and the text “fyeahautismspectrum.tumblr.com / @fyeahautism on Twitter.”]
As I said, it’s not very well-made.
You can get the full version here or here (3000x2361 pixels).
- 1:26 pm - Sat, May 21, 2011
- 8 notes
walking in autism speaks walks and shizz doesn’t make you magically immune from being ableist. and it’s actually more prone to be the opposite.
Yes, when I think of anti-ableism allies, the folks who walk so that me and my kind can be demonized in the media and eliminated through genetic research are the first who come to mind. <sarcasm>
Seriously, WTF? People actually think this?
Yeah, I’ve witnessed it.
- 4:31 pm - Thu, May 19, 2011
- 5 notes
Whatever people believe (facts aside) causes autism, it influences the way they interact with, perceive, and treat autistic people. One of the things which most greatly irks me about the anti-vaccination movement, with their language of “injured”, “damaged”, “sickened” and “inflicted”, have this nasty habit of following that logic with treating autism like a degenerative disease. In fact, it isn’t just the anti-vaxxers who are guilty of this. I’ve seen language of injury and sickness applied to autism in everything from The Skeptical Inquirer to the BBC. It’s been compared to cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and malnutrition. The largest Autism-“Charity” *ahem* in the United States released a billboard comparing autism to car accidents.
I shouldn’t have to say twice that language matters. The major difference between all these things and autism is that autism does not result in DEATH. It does not sap me of my strength or my health. Even if it did though, the pity-based attitude it inspires is still unacceptable. It reduces the possibility of autistic people being fully involved in society when they cannot shake off the label of “injured” and the treatment by neurotypicals which follows it.