Try not throwing such wide sweeping statements out if you want to engage your readership. I'm not sure what kind of "general public" you're dealing with on a daily basis, but the one in my neck of woods certainly does not bear out the description you gave them. To me, (being a member of the "general public",) your statement reads as nothing more than you projecting your own outlook upon other people, with the further kicker of that outlook being pretty offensive. A chip on your own shoulder does not make for a good, factual argument.
I think you might have missed my point.
That's kinda like saying, "Or you're black and you think society has a generally racist attitude? Prove it!"
I experience the results of the attitudes towards autism, everything from "Oh you can talk so you can't be autistic!" which then has my valid needs dismissed through to "Autistics can't learn in normal schools, so we're going to separate them from the rest of society".
I am not saying any individual or your friends, or your community have these attitudes, I am saying they are the expressed results of society, which comes from many many people holding such attitudes, and a few large and very visible organisations like Autism Speaks promoting them.
There are many people that have a good attitude towards autistics, that do listen to us and treat us with respect.
Unfortunately they are not all of society, and Autism Speaks keeps speaking over the top of actual autistics.There are no autistics speaking from autism speaks
, they are all NT.
More like, only giving the feeling or emotion doesn't make for a good, factual argument. It boils down to being nothing more than the spreading of a rumor. It's like if I were to say, "The information on IMDb isn't reliable" but providing no examples as to why I'm saying that. I may very well have valid reasons for making that comment but without giving the reasons and examples to validate the reasons, it's nothing more than a claim. Now to provide links to several pages (shows/movies/people) with details as to what's inaccurate, preferably with links to reliable sources to verify how it's inaccurate, that would demonstrate the claim.
of the points I tried to make was that Autism Speaks is offensive to the vast majority of autistics.
This is a fundamentally emotional stance and point. I was not intending for that to be a matter of fact, or citation.
It was akin to saying, "Organisation x that fights against sexism is found offensive by the majority of women".
If most autistics find them offensive, are they really helping them?
Don't you think there might be a reason?
If people are interested in helping autistics, shouldn't they care if the organisation claiming to do so
is actually offending the autistic community?
"Autism Speaks" could very well be unworthy of receiving donations because of the few things mentioned, but I prefer to see proof of those things. Are there any news sources that have done articles on A.S. that mention the same things? Are there people (verifiable) that have witnessed this first hand and told of their personal experiences? Regardless of the cause, any charity/organization that isn't focused on the same goals as those it's representing needs to be brought out with facts, not just a dislike. Some of them use very little of the donations for expenses and employments, while wisely using the rest for the end goal (cancer research, helping kids, feeding the hungry, etc). Others take out a large amount for nonsense reasons (bonuses, etc for those running it) while giving something like only 5% of the donations towards the advertised goal. The latter type of organizations, be it from greed, lack of understanding, lack of compassion, etc, are the ones people like to learn about with verifiable facts, so they know who to avoid donating to and warns others about.
I understand what you're saying, but the problem isn't that they're frivolous with their money, it's that the underlying goals and attitudes of Autism Speaks are offensive to autistics.
It's in their wording, their view of autism, their research goals.
In most materials they refer to families 'affected by autism'.
As though autism is a curse that affects these families.
Then as mentioned by another, use videos and releases to reinforce that with NT parents speaking out, and encouraged to tell the world just how bad it is that they have a child with autism
They consistently refer to autism as a 'risk', like your risk of cancer, or risk of some disease.
Despite the fact that it is uncontroversially established that autism is genetic
(Though due to the large number of contributing factors, there's no single source or genetic marker)
The issue is that as Autism Speaks is by far
the most visible and largest 'autism charity' then media and many people look to them and mirror their attitude.
They think if Autism Speaks says it that way, it's okay to say it that way. But it's not.
What if there is simply a misunderstanding about how A.S. is operating and the few negative things are based on the words of a few people who may have had a rare bad experience from an otherwise respectable organization? Worse yet, what if some of those bad experiences weren't the fault of A.S. but rather from a misunderstanding based on what others said? That happens a lot in the world. For example, what if someone misread something about A.S. and went to someone they know saying, "A.S. will pay for you to go to college!" and that person then contacts A.S. and is told "No we don't do that." The middle person suddenly had a negative experience and may be thinking that their friend would never lie to them, so A.S. must be making false claims. So then they go around warning others to not donate to A.S. because they're liars.
There is no misunderstanding, this is fundamental to the language used, their stated goals, and what they actually invest their research in.
Directly from their own strategic plan
they call autism a disease!
This isn't even new from them, a few second on google and in a press release it's described as devastating news
(Oh, and that one was done with another organisation called "Cure Autism Now", I won't even start on how offensive that is.)
They are STILL referring to autism as an epidemic
, again implying that it is a disease, and also that it is increasingly common.
As recent studies
aimed at general population levels show -
This takes us back to the central question: has the number of children with ASD increased or not? Total population epidemiological studies suggest much or all of the increase is due to better and wider detection.
I can personally attest to that, especially for women
, that under previous guidelines were almost always missed and leads to the situation where the criteria are aimed at autistic expression in boys, miss girls, and so autism is a boys 'disease'. I was not diagnosed until adulthood because of this.
It would also help if you provided links to sites where a majority of the community is autistic or has some form of autism and a majority of that community is against A.S. or have concerns or issues with them. It says a lot when an organization is disliked or spoken badly about from the very people it's supposedly trying to help.
The largest 'community' would probably be the online community Wrong Planet
(Which is an allusion to the metaphor that autistics major issue is the society we live in, that if we lived on a planet where everyone was autistic then most of our issues wouldn't occur. So we live on the 'Wrong Planet')
There was an April Fools article on there too, so make sure to check the date on the posts.
The fact Autism Speaks was the subject of such an article, and the content and strong wording of it, should say something about the community attitude to them as well.
There are some great autistic organisations by autistics, that do have our interests at heart.
The biggest one is probably ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network
They even have a flier
specifically addressing Autism Speaks!
I'm sure you could find ample information about these things, that Autism Speaks have done:
I won't even try to outline every single issue there is with Autism Speaks.
I am just trying to make people aware that they are not a positive force for autistics, and if you want to help autistics then please donate your money to another organisation.