Category: Against Autism Speaks


These are the companies and organizations donating to, or supporting/promoting, Autism Speaks as of early April 2011. If anyone knows of any others, please pass info along.

United States

Ongoing Donors:

-Toys R Us/Babies R Us
-TJ Maxx
-Zales
-Build-A-Bear Workshop
-Lindt Chocolates
-Dollar General
-Etnies Shoes
-White Castle
-Modell’s Sporting Goods
-Scentsy
-Lord & Taylor
-The Bachman Company
-General Motors/Chevrolet
-Ask.com
-Bath & Body Works
-FOX Sports
-Landscape Structures
-Pump It Up
-NASCAR: Dover International and Charlotte International Speedways also contribute separately
-NEST Home Fragrances (sold through Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman)
-Amber Alert Registry
-Artists for Autism (including affiliated cafes)
-Lindamood-Bell Tutoring – promotes them highly, not sure about $$$ raising

-WrongPlanet should be mentioned in here somewhere because of the recent Autism Speaks involvement – not sure where they belong, though

Intermittent, or April Only (apparently – some of these were unclear)

-Casey’s General Stores
-Panera
-Mattress Warehouse
-Lamar Digital Advertising
-Home Depot
-Dave and Buster’s
-National Football League
-Joe’s Crab Shack (IL and MO)
-ThinkGeek – 4/11/11: is reconsidering their donating but haven’t actually said no yet – please contact them re: this
-CafePress – ongoing through this April, then will stop permanently
-St. Louis Cardinals (MO)
-Charlotte Checkers & Eagles (NC)

Canada: (as Autism Speaks.ca)

-SeaMiles
-The Globe & Mail (appears to be MAJOR media partner)
-KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation
-National Hockey League – incl. NHLPA and NHL Alumni Association, U.S. teams

UK: as Autistica

-eBay UK
-Giveacar
-Adventure Cafe Ltd. (organizes/operates Autistica’s fundraising bike challenges)

Please be aware that the following are arms of Autism Speaks or have merged with them:

-Autism Treatment Network/Toddler Treatment Network (U.S.)
-Shafallah (based in Qatar)
-Athletes Against Autism (U.S./Canada)
-ACRE (Autism Coalition for Research & Education)
-NAAR (National Alliance for Autism Research)
-CAN (Cure Autism Now)

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These are the companies and organizations donating to Autism Speaks as of early April 2011. If anyone knows of any others, please pass info along.

United States

Ongoing Donors:

-Toys R Us/Babies R Us
-TJ Maxx
-Zales
-Build-A-Bear Workshop
-Lindt Chocolates
-Dollar General
-Etnies Shoes
-White Castle
-Modell’s Sporting Goods
-Scentsy
-Lord & Taylor
-The Bachman Company
-General Motors/Chevrolet
-Ask.com
-Bath & Body Works
-FOX Sports
-Landscape Structures
-Pump It Up
-NASCAR: Dover International and Charlotte International Speedways also contribute separately
-NEST Home Fragrances (sold through Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman)
-Amber Alert Registry
-Artists for Autism (including affiliated cafes)
-Lindamood-Bell Tutoring – promotes them highly, not sure about $$$ raising

Intermittent, or April Only (apparently – some of these were unclear)

-Casey’s General Stores
-Panera
-Mattress Warehouse
-Lamar Digital Advertising
-Home Depot
-Dave and Buster’s
-National Football League
-Joe’s Crab Shack (IL and MO)
-ThinkGeek – 4/11/11: is reconsidering their donating but haven’t actually said no yet – please contact them re: this
-CafePress – ongoing through this April, then will stop permanently
-St. Louis Cardinals (MO)
-Charlotte Checkers & Eagles (NC)

Canada: (as Autism Speaks.ca)

-SeaMiles
-The Globe & Mail (appears to be MAJOR media partner)
-KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation
-National Hockey League – incl. NHLPA and NHL Alumni Association, U.S. teams

UK: as Autistica

-eBay UK
-Giveacar
-Adventure Cafe Ltd. (organizes/operates Autistica’s fundraising bike challenges)

Please be aware that the following are arms of Autism Speaks or have merged with them:

-Autism Treatment Network/Toddler Treatment Network (U.S.)
-Shafallah (based in Qatar)
-Athletes Against Autism (U.S./Canada)
-ACRE (Autism Coalition for Research & Education)
-NAAR (National Alliance for Autism Research)
-CAN (Cure Autism Now)

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posted by Meega Na La Queesta

Now is the time for change and I mean real fundamental change, not tweaking the bio of an employee on their website.

An integral part of Aut speaks mission has always been to raise funds for the scientific community at the expense of the autistic community. By diverting money away from those that need it they increase the suffering and so they increase their clamour for more money; growing ever more powerful, influential and deceitful along the way.

They claim that ‘Persons with ASD are at the heart of what we do’ and yet their actions are more akin to ripping the heart out of our community.
At the heart of what they are currently doing is their odious

Strategic 3-Year Plan for Science

VISION
A world where suffering because of autism no longer exists

MISSION
“To improve the future of those struggling with ASD by funding research and developing resources that will accelerate discovery, development, and dissemination of methods for prevention, treatment, and cure”

To achieve this they set themselves five goals which I have quoted below from their website.

Problem: Until we understand the causes of autism, it will be difficult to identify at-risk populations and develop effective strategies for prevention, treatment, or cure.
Our goal: Identify genetic and environmental risk factors for autism and their interaction

Problem: Until we understand the underlying biological mechanisms of autism, it will be difficult to develop effective strategies for prevention, treatment, or cure.
Our goal: Identify the underlying biological mechanisms of autism

Problem: Reliable, efficient, and scalable diagnostic and risk assessment methods are not available, making it difficult to detect autism in infants, predict prognosis and response to treatment, and acquire large data bases for discovery of the causes and best treatments of autism.
Our goal: Develop improved and more efficient diagnosis and risk assessment methods

Problem: Although early behavioral intervention is effective for improving outcomes, many persons with ASD continue to struggle despite early intervention. We don’t yet have effective treatments for all individuals with ASD and we have almost no knowledge regarding how to prevent autism.
Our goal: Identify effective treatment and prevention strategies for individuals with ASD

Problem: Although effective methods for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ASD exist, the majority of individuals with ASD do not have access to these clinical practices.
Our goal: Widespread dissemination of empirically-validated methods for screening, diagnosis, and treatment to the broader community worldwide.

Well time is up. Their 3 year plan was for 2009 – 2011. Its judgment time.

Unless they can come up with some miraculous announcements in the next couple of months my judgement would be, Fail – Fail – Fail – Fail and yes I think that last one is a Fail as well.

In fact the only area where Aut speaks have been successful, is in deceiving the American public.

Now it is time for a change – it is time for a new strategic plan.

The research industry will of course put a positive spin on these failures and be pleading for three more years of the same.
They have no interest in the welfare of the ASD community, they are only interested in keeping their laboratories busy with Aut speaks money.

That is why it is more important than ever, wherever you are, to keep bashing at the walls of the Aut speaks empire.

We must tell them it’s time for change and ITS TIME TO LISTEN.

Keep bashing and may the force be with you.

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posted by: heterodox

Aut speaks are an organisation founded on deceit.

Dig beneath the surface of their veneer and you find that:

Aut speaks are the National Alliance for Autism Research
Aut speaks are the Autism Coalition for Research and Education
Aut speaks are Cure Autism Now

These honestly named organisations are now hidden beneath the shiney veneer of Autism Speaks. A name that was deceitfully contrived to give the impression that they represent the ASD community and they use the slogan, ‘It’s time to listen’ to reinforce that deceit.

They do not speak for the majority of the ASD community.
They do not listen to the majority of the ASD community.
They do represent the autism research industry and are dedicated to raising money for them in order to find the causes and eventually cure autism.
They do give some money to the ASD community to generate publicity and perpetuate the lie but the amounts are miserly compared to what they give to the research industry.

They also perpetuate the lie by encouraging ASD people to stand on their platforms and tell their life stories because Aut speaks know that the readers will infer that they are supporting Aspeaks.
The speakers are free to spout their neurodiversity messages (whatever that means)
They can even say, ‘I want my money back.’
But they can’t say, ‘I don’t want a cure’.

Well not yet

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posted by heterodox

Assuming Dana Marnane was honest with you, then perhaps AutismSpeaks are doing tiny moves in the right direction. Yet, they have to make much larger moves in the right direction to be taken seriously by the Autistic Community.

Lets look at Autism Speaks annual report for 2010:
http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/defaul…web_01.pdf

Dana Marnane Wrote:
One tension that exists is whether basic research on the biology of autism or studies focused on services is more deserving. We believe we need to fund both kinds of research.

Research on the biology of autism doesn’t help the Autistic Community. It merely stigmatizes us, as it implies there is something “wrong” with us.

Dana Marnane Wrote:
However, over the past few years, we have been balancing this basic research with studies that are developing new service and support programs for people at all points on the autism spectrum. We have also directed more funds toward advocacy efforts and research focused on adults with ASD.

99% to biological research and 1% to researching services and support?
99% focusing on children and 1% focusing on adults?
(I’m just speculating here. I would love to get the actual data).

Dana Marnane Wrote:
Among our six targeted research emphasis areas is a focus on understanding adult development, including issues related to successful outcomes, interventions and supports, and medical issues.
Lets look at your other 5 research emphasis areas:
1. Discovery of risk factors for autism, especially environmental factors and gene environment interactions
This doesn’t help the Autistic Community. It merely stigmatizes us, by implying there is something “wrong” with us.
If you accept us as we are, you wouldn’t use the phrase “risk factors”.
Are we bad people? Is there a “risk” in parenting us?
2. Development of methods for very early detection of ASD risk
This doesn’t help the Autistic Community. It merely stigmatizes us, by implying that autism is a “risk”.
4. Identification of the molecular pathophysiology of ASD that can inform translational research for drug discovery or development of diagnostic methodsThis shows total disrespect to the beauty of the Autistic Community.
5. Development and evaluation of novel treatments that can address the core symptoms and associated medical conditions throughout the lifespan We need accommodations, not treatments.
6. Dissemination of empirically validated screening, diagnostic and treatment approachesSeems too vague.

Dana Marnane Wrote:
We are working hard to understand the biological basis of autism as this will help us target medical treatments to the individuals who need and want them.

From what I’ve read and heard here on AFF, on Wrongplanet.net, at Autreat and at Autscape, these individuals are a tiny minority within the Autistic Community.

Dana Marnane Wrote:
As our mission relates to “cure”, our goal is to reduce suffering associated with autism, in all its forms. Some would call that a cure. Others would call it remediation of disability. For others, it means acceptance and empowerment.

Your mission statement says, among other things, “We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism”.
Your mission statement does not mention accepting us as we are, nor does it mention empowering us, nor does it mention providing us any kind of services, supports, or accommodations.

Dana Marnane Wrote:
there are individuals severely affected who have significant medical conditions, like GI distress and have never spoken. For those individuals, the prospect of a cure for autism is really important because to that person “cure” means being able to communicate and free of pain.

Curing medical conditions which are common among Autistics is totally different from “curing” Autism.
Nobody objects to curing such medical conditions, but you need to be explicit about the huge differences between such conditions and autism itself.

Dana Marnane Wrote:
We wish to celebrate the valuable human characteristics of autism, as you say, by helping each person with autism use those characteristics in the most successful and rewarding way possible.
So why don’t you mention this in any of your promotional materials?

Dana Marnane Wrote:
For those who are self-advocates and just want to be accepted for who they are – we salute you and we would never try to change you. In fact, we desperately need your voice to help bring even more awareness, understanding and compassion to those who are not touched by autism.

If we give you our voices, then how much funding will you give to our self-advocacy projects?
Will you help us fund Aspies For Freedom?
Will you help us fund Autreat?
Will you help us fund the Autistic Self Advocacy Network?

Dana Marnane Wrote:
Our main goals moving forward are:
• Federal legislation to cover autism insurance – in the meantime we will continue going state-to-state.
• Reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act to provide critical government funds for research and services for autism.

Would you, as a woman, support the Combating Femininity Act? You wouldn’t? You would feel threatened by such an act?
If so, then how can you expect Autistics to support the Combating Autism Act?
Can’t you see such an act threatens our very core of existence?

Dana Marnane Wrote:
• Creating a more compassionate world for all those with an autism spectrum disorder.
If you are serious about this, then how about eliminating the word “disorder”? (many of us are more ordered than you are). We don’t like being stigmatized.
In the section “How Common is Autism”, on AutismSpeaks “About Autism” page, (as well as on 2010’s annual report) you write:
“Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined”. Can’t you see how offensive it is to Autistics? Would you write the same about dyslexia? about femininity? about other minority conditions?
Is our blood less red than yours?
Are our feelings less valuable than yours?

Autism Speaks

An Interview with
Dana Marnane, Vice President, Awareness and Events

1. How does Autism Speaks account for the large community of self-advocating autistics who oppose their organization? Does Autism Speaks feel this population has misunderstood their message, and if so, what might you say to clarify your intentions?

A: Autism Speaks’ mission is to improve the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. ASD is a very heterogeneous condition and, thus, the needs of the autism community are diverse. However, a core mission at Autism Speaks is to help each individual and each family address their unique struggles and help each person with ASD live the most productive and meaningful life possible. One person with ASD might define his or her greatest challenge as the need for gainful employment and full acceptance by society, whereas another person with ASD might be most affected by severe, intractable seizures or other disabling medical problems that can often co-exist with an autism diagnosis. We believe that all of these issues deserve research and advocacy.

One tension that exists is whether basic research on the biology of autism or studies focused on services is more deserving. We believe we need to fund both kinds of research. The basic research, including genetic and other biomedical studies, offers the best hope that we will be able to help the person with seizures or other severe medical problems. Such research may also lead to treatments that improve communication and social skills. When Autism Speaks first began, much of our funding was directed toward basic research. However, over the past few years, we have been balancing this basic research with studies that are developing new service and support programs for people at all points on the autism spectrum. We have also directed more funds toward advocacy efforts and research focused on adults with ASD. Among our six targeted research emphasis areas is a focus on understanding adult development, including issues related to successful outcomes, interventions and supports, and medical issues. As a result of our soliciting these kinds of research proposals, we are funding more and more studies that focus on issues that adults with ASD face as they seek to live fulfilling, independent and productive lives.

2. Autism Speaks funds the Autism Genome project, described, on autismspeaks.org, as, “the largest study ever conducted to find the genes associated with inherited risk for autism.” What specific benefits might this research provide the autistic community? Why might so many autistics oppose such research?

A: We are working hard to understand the biological basis of autism as this will help us target medical treatments to the individuals who need and want them. We now know that autism isn’t one condition, but rather many conditions with many different causes and biologies. Genes are one way of helping to categorize the different autisms so that treatments can be more effective. For example, some, but not all, people with ASD have sleep problems and, in some cases, it appears to be linked to a gene involved in melatonin production (melatonin regulates our sleep cycle). By identifying individuals with that genetic variation, we can hopefully identify those people who would be most likely to respond to melatonin supplementation. This is just one example, but there are many others like it. Genes are one of the best ways of subtyping and understanding the biology of autism so we can develop interventions that can help people with medical problems, such as sleep and GI problems, seizures, food allergies, and so on.

3. In 2007, Autism Speaks merged with Cure Autism Now. Does finding an autism cure continue to be one of your organizations primary objectives? Do you believe it is legitimately possible to “cure” autism, and if so, what exactly would such a cure entail? What characteristics would be removed from a cured individual and what characteristics would remain?

A: Our organization has four main objectives – to raise awareness of autism, fund research into the causes, better diagnosis and more effective treatments of autism, to advocate for families (for instance – insurance coverage for validated treatments) and to providing resources for families such as the transition toolkit for adolescents who are becoming adults, community grants to expand community services, create housing and much more, as well as information on where to get assistance around the country.

As our mission relates to “cure”, our goal is to reduce suffering associated with autism, in all its forms. Some would call that a cure. Others would call it remediation of disability. For others, it means acceptance and empowerment.

One of the things that is so challenging about autism is the fact that there’s so much variation in the way autism is expressed in people. Some individuals can have a productive and creative life, and they aren’t looking for a cure. They’re interested in being accepted and getting access to services to help them adapt to the world with their special skills. At the other end, there are individuals severely affected who have significant medical conditions, like GI distress and have never spoken. For those individuals, the prospect of a cure for autism is really important because to that person “cure” means being able to communicate and free of pain. That results in a lot of different perspectives of where our priorities should be.

4. A growing body of scientific research suggests that we are rapidly nearing the development of an amniocentesis test to detect autism, much like the procedure currently used to detect Down’s syndrome. Does funding provided by Autism Speaks in any way enable the development of such a test? If a prenatal test for autism was developed, does Autism Speaks believe that it should be made available to the public?

A: Autism Speaks is not funding any research to develop a prenatal test for autism. That is not our goal. The genetic research Autism Speaks has funded is aimed at finding biological causes, as described above.

5. It has been proposed that Autism, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified, be replaced in the DSM-V by a general category referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. How might this be beneficial, and or detrimental, to the autistic community, their families, schools, the clinical practices attempting to improve their quality of life, etc…?

A: In February, 2010, Autism Speaks published a blog on this very topic at http://blog.autismspeaks.org/2010/02/10/…r-autism/. In that post, we acknowledged that the community would have a wide range of reactions depending on one’s perspective (a recurring theme in this interview!). We pointed out that scientifically, there is no strong scientific rationale for distinguishing among autism, Asperger syndrome, and PDD-NOS. We said at that time that the changes to the DSM, scientifically, make sense.

However we also acknowledged that people in the community living with autism may have a very different view of the change. In particular, “Many individuals personally identify with the diagnostic label they have been given and grown up with. They may participate in support or advocacy groups that identify with a specific label: for example “Aspies.” Thus, although the scientific and professional communities may institute a change in the diagnostic criteria, many may choose to use the original labels despite the changes in the DSM. And there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, there is precedent for this. For example, “sensory integration disorder” and “nonverbal learning disability” are examples of labels that have been used by the clinical community, but are not specifically part of the DSM.

One benefit of the change is that it may help increase access to services for those individuals with Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS who were previously denied access to autism-related services.”

Interestingly, the reaction to that blog and other articles was mixed, mirroring the very conflicts across our community.

6. Hans Asperger said, “It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential.” Does Autism Speaks believe that certain valuable human characteristics might be lost if autism was to be eradicated from the species?

A: Autism Speaks does not and never has sought to eradicate autism. We wish to celebrate the valuable human characteristics of autism, as you say, by helping each person with autism use those characteristics in the most successful and rewarding way possible. At the same time, we hope to eliminate the frequent co-occurring medical issues that negatively impact quality of life for many of those on the spectrum. We want compassion for those who need it and help for those who want it. For the individual who cannot communicate – we want to help them find a voice. For the individual who is self-injurious and cannot function, we want to ease that suffering with whatever treatments will help. For those who are self-advocates and just want to be accepted for who they are – we salute you and we would never try to change you. In fact, we desperately need your voice to help bring even more awareness, understanding and compassion to those who are not touched by autism.

7. How does Autism Speaks feel about speculation that certain important figures in human history, such as Einstein and Mozart, had High Functioning Autism, or Asperger Syndrome? Does Autism Speaks believe that individuals with HFA or AS have greater societal value than those with lower functioning forms of autism?

A: We believe that everyone with autism has special gifts – it’s up to families and the community to help them discover those qualities. We do not speculate on who may or may not have had Asperger Syndrome in history.

8. Would someone on the autism spectrum be capable of attaining a well-paid and influential position within Autism Speaks?

A: Absolutely. We post all open positions on multiple job sites and encourage anyone who meets the qualifications to apply. Autism Speaks does not discriminate in its hiring practices. People with autism are employed at Autism Speaks and are also appointed to several boards and committees, such as the Scientific Advisory Board and Treatment Advisory Board, both of which review and evaluate our research grant proposals. So people on the autism spectrum are shaping what we fund. We also have many family members at Autism Speaks, both as employees and board/committee members.

9. Many of Autism Speaks’ promotional strategies have been heavily criticized. Are there any specific marketing choices that Autism Speaks has come to regret? If so, what would Autism Speaks say to those who were offended by the way they have chosen to depict autism, and what corrective action is being taken?

A: We are a young organization and we learn as we grow. Without a doubt we have made mistakes – and to those we may have offended we are truly sorry. We never set out to offend. We are sincerely trying to help all those struggling with ASD. The autism spectrum is just that – a broad spectrum – and we respect that there are many different points of view. What touches someone can offend another. What we ask of this community is to also respect that others don’t think or feel the way they do – that doesn’t mean their opinions and thoughts are wrong. We all need to learn to be respectful and compassionate.

10. What primary goal does Autism Speaks wish to reach within the next decade?

A: Like we said earlier, our organization has four main objectives – to raise awareness of autism, fund research into the causes, better diagnosis and more effective treatments of autism, to advocate for families and provide resources for families and individuals. Our main goals moving forward are:
• Federal legislation to cover autism insurance – in the meantime we will continue going state-to-state.
• Reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act to provide critical government funds for research and services for autism.
• Discovering and developing more effective ways of detecting autism and providing effective interventions and supports for people on the spectrum throughout their lifespan.
• Increasing access to high-quality services and supports for people with ASD throughout the world.
• Creating a more compassionate world for all those with an autism spectrum disorder.

 

interview questions presented by Tambourine-Man

Autistics Speaking Day

Autistics Speaking Day on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140107279369668

An autism organization in Australia is running an event called “Communication Shutdown” on November 1st. The event is meant to make non-autistic people understand the social isolation that autistic people feel. But this event has been called into question by autistic bloggers for many reasons.

1. Autistic people are not silent, online or offline.
2. Non-autistic people will have no more clue what autistic people’s lives are like simply by staying off of Facebook for a day, because while they are avoiding their computer, they are still not autistic.
3. The invention of the Internet has prevented autistic people from feeling so isolated. Autistic people use social networking sites, forums, and blogs to talk to other autistic people, and even nonverbal autistics or autistics who have difficulty effectively communicating have an opportunity to socialize online.

Corina Becker, an autistic woman who runs the blog No Stereotypes Here ( http://nostereotypeshere.blogspot.com/20…g-day.html ), has proposed to make November 1st Autistics Speaking Day. Autistic people will be using the day to speak out and it is time for non-autistic people to listen. To paraphrase Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s post, saying that we are silent makes our voices even more unheard, and we will not be silent if the rest of the world listens to us. ( http://www.journeyswithautism.com/2010/1…ember-1st/ )

If you want to know what it is like to be autistic, please listen to us and learn. This, not Communication Shutdown, will make autistic peoples’ voices heard.

from: KenG

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Autism Speaks protest

http://wn.com/ABC_6_News_Columbus_ASAN_Protest_Against_Autism_Speaks

posted by skyblue1

In answer to this question, No.

Whilst they were sapping money from anyone gullible enough to invest in them and researching and creating a noise about vaccines causing Autism, as wrong and as silly as this was, there were some on the spectrum who waved it off in saying “Let them chase their tail futilely until they get bored.  It can’t hurt us.”

Now they have been stockpiling genetic material on Autism. They have been given a new and strong direction from Geraldine Dawson (who years before their inception and even whilst they were chasing their tails in the Vaccine debate) formerly director of the University of Washington’s Autism Center and a psychology professor who headed a team to make early genetic research into the causes of Autism back in 2002.

http://uwnews.org/article.asp?Search=dawson&articleid=2497
Families with two or more children with autism sought for $10.2 million study of genetic, neurobiological causes of autism

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the National Institutes of Health, is funding the study, which is also designed to develop intervention programs to assist children with the development disorder. Geraldine Dawson, director of the UW’s Autism Center and a psychology professor, heads the interdisciplinary team of researchers.

Autism Speak’s has bought on someone competent and with seemingly the respect and direction of her other scientific researchers in Autism Speaks.

So now they have purpose and direction and powerful support and researchers on the right track in establishing what Autism is and is not and the source (in genetics).

Is this a good thing? No. Autism Speaks is a worry and make no mistake

I have noted that they are having many executives with experience in institutions dealing with Birth defects and early detection of infantile and prenatal disorders. Further to this was the statement of Geraldine Dawson saying that they have been able to diagnose Autism in children at around the age of 2, and have hopes to diagnose at an earlier age. How early?

http://appropriations.senate.gov/ht-labor.cfm?method=hearings.view&id=d54201cd-50d4-4687-8274-e9781f0ef0d7

Autism Treatment Network and the Clinical Trials Network. Early detection and early behavioral intervention. Two areas in which we have made significant progress in the past several years are early diagnosis and early intervention. Screening methods for autism now exist for children as young as 18 months of age, and the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that all babies be screened for early signs of autism at 18 and 24 months of age. Autism Speaks and the NIH are funding several studies focused on detecting autism in even younger infants

Now. Let’s put together what we know as laymen.

They are looking at Autism diagnosis earlier than two years. They have
been stockpiling genetic tissue of Autistic people

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-10/as-asg100709.php

New York, NY (October 7, 2009) – Autism Speaks’ Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and the Autism Tissue Program (ATP) continue to play an integral role in continuing genetic research and new findings in the complex autism inheritance and causation puzzle. In a study published in the October 7, edition of the journal Nature, an extensive research team of more than 75 research institutions identified semaphoring 5A, a gene implicated in the growth of neurons to form proper contacts and connections with other neurons. Previous studies have reported lower levels of this protein in blood samples from individuals with autism as compared to controls. In this study, the researchers were also able to extend that observation to the brain tissue of individuals with autism vs. control” brains.

And they have many people in the executive with central roles in areas that specialised in early and prenatal detection.

IF they could detect genetically the possible predisposition of the unborn child to being on the Autism spectrum they COULD tell the expectant parents. (Just like they do with children with possible/suspected Down’s Syndrome).

Now IF the pregnancy is terminated, they will NOT be responsible for it. If babies are going to be terminated before birth to the extent they are in comparison with Down Syndrome babies, then Autism rates may drop from 1 in 155 to maybe 1 in every 3100. Those autistic children that do get born can be medicated with the potions from their friends in Pharmaceutical from that they are paid for patenting from results of their genetic research.

Here grab some popcorn and have a look.

I hope you had a strong stomach.
Here is where they “staged” the whole clip.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/inthenews/autism_video_project.php

Oh here is a second course

Just in case you thought I was overstating the whole “distancing themselves thing” or the legal disclaimers to the videos they launch and promote…here we go

http://www.autismspeaks.org/docs/video/Autism_Speaks_release.pdf

 

Now consider this

http://www.genocidewatch.org/aboutgenocide/8stagesofgenocide.html

This DOES sound rather radical and fearmongering BUT….

1. CLASSIFICATION: All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi.

2. SYMBOLIZATION: We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or “Gypsies”, or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply the symbols to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage, dehumanization.

3. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder.

4. ORGANIZATION: Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility

5. POLARIZATION: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction.

6. PREPARATION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols.

7. EXTERMINATION: begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is “extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing.

8. DENIAL is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile.

Autism Speaks has the ear of people in very high places.

The founders of Autism Speak(s the Wright’s) got a commendation from the Pope?

We see the money shoveled to their organisation from BIG corporate organisations and more from government funding – effectively drying up other autism charities, we can presume them to be a little worrying if their image of Autism is damaging.
The videos show nothing less than dehumanistion of Autistic people?

The genetic stockpiling does lead you to question how it may be used by parties related to such dehumanising mindsets. Identification?

Are they state funded? Look at their success in PR and receiving funds and support in government.
Do they have any people on the spectrum in their organisation, in positions of genuine power to help moderate things that are against the rights of Autistic people?

Are they extremist? Look at the videos again.

Are you frightened? I am.

Bloke

The late George Carlin said that “Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time”. Hysterical. We know it is a joke. We know the cause is unlikely at best, but ultimately unprovable no matter how absurd.

The vaccine theory is the same. We may well say the same about the causes of Autism. Autism Speaks and Generation Rescue may have blamed car pollutants, The increase in ultravoilet rays, fluoride in the drinking water or any other number of causes and all would have been equally as absurd and unprovable. They focus (or have focussed) on vaccines as “the cause”. More fool them.
They will also say that Autism is an epidemic because there weren’t Autistic people around prior to a particular date. This pet theory is backed by their strange “proof” of asking us to point out diagnosed Autistic people born earlier that 1930 and pointing to the amount of diagnosed cases today.
Does not take a science or a psychiatry degree to appreciate that public and medical fraternity’s knowledge and identification of Autism has been increasing over the last half of a century and previously people with this condition were not diagnosed with Autism as the public and medical fraternity simply did not have “that” label.

There is an old adage about whether a tree falling in a forest with no-one around makes a sound. Of course it does but who would notice?
So what does Autism Speaks (who purport to be a charity for Autistic people – and indeed “Speak” for Autistic people) and Generation Rescue choose to promote Autistic people.

I hope you had a strong stomach.
Here is where they “staged” the whole clip.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/inthenews/autism_video_project.php

Oh here is a second course

So You probably are thinking that they are a big organisation with good intents and though they obviously put themselves over rather poorly have a track record for making big money grants and use it wisely for Autistic people?

Hmmm…..OK. So according to the 2008 annual report that they made public (Now taken down) they recieved US$66,373,252 and spent US$71,095,217 (What is the technical term for backwardisation?)

Head of the list was Geri Dawson, was compensated $644,274 but between the top 15 employees salaries they made $3,065,732 between them. All up they spent $17,756,876 on employee salaries, pensions/401ks, benefits, and payroll taxes. Compare this to grants to individuals and communities totaling $66,670.
They stage and make cool videos though huh?

OK so if you are thinking that they seem to have strange ideas, have no idea on how to spend the overly generous donations from a trusting public and perhaps that they are not really representing Autism then what is Autism if not some robbing demonic possessor of “normal kids to be cure by the zealous and fanatical Autism Speaks and Generation Rescue bad publicity machine?

Here is the Wikipedia scoop on Autism

“Autism is a disorder of neural development that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old.[1] Autism involves many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not well understood.[2] The two other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are Aspergers syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and PDD-NOS, diagnosed when full criteria for the other two disorders are not met.[3]

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants.[4] In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.[5] Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines;[6] the vaccine hypotheses are biologically implausible and lack convincing scientific evidence.[7] The prevalence of ASD is about 6 per 1,000 people (1 per 166), with about four times as many males as females. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.[8]…..”

So if the actual brains of Autistic people is neurologically different on a structural level then do you think it makes sense that a “cure” would rearrange or change a person’s brain structure and leave them un-Autistic and with different brains? Don’t laugh most of the Autistic Speaks and Generation Rescue publicity machine think exactly this. They think of Autism as a sort of demonic possession of their normal children who are hiding behind an Autistic shell.

The true irony of course is that the demonising, devaluing and marginalising and the monster or demon allusions is scarily similar in my mind at least to the line taken with Witches (Medieval conspiracy theory) and who were the targets? Think on the weird, unsocial, outcasts who spoke and acted strangely. They were called witches but I wonder if they were diagnosed now…..

They get away with such horrid bigotry and discrimination in the guise of giving a damn. Take their I am Autism and replace the word “Autism” with “Black”, “Gay”, “Jewish”, “Intellectually disabled” …..no honestly, try it and see what I mean.

This website sums up the disgust I and many feel wonderfully

http://www.disabled-world.com/editorials/autism-speaks.php

“Elizabeth Emken is the Vice President of Government Relations for Autism Speaks, according to their web site. She joined Autism Speaks in March of 2007 and manages the relationship between Autism Speaks and the federal government, state governments and additional agencies. Elizabeth has been a leader of community advocacy for the, ‘Combating Autism Act of 2006, on behalf of Cure Autism Now, Autism Speaks, and seventeen additional autism organizations. The Combating Autism Act of 2006 passed in December of 2006,
authorizing nearly a billion dollars over a five year period of time to, ‘combat,’ autism through research, early detection, screening, and early intervention
Mark Roithmayr is the the President of Autism Speaks. Over a twenty-month period he assisted in the merging of ACRE, NAAR, and Cure Autism Now into what is currently Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks itself is the largest autism-related non-profit health care agency in America; they raised over $69 million dollars for autism research, awareness, advocacy and family services. Mark Roithmayr worked for the March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation for twenty years prior to becoming the President of Autism Speaks
the NCBDDD runs campaigns aimed at improving awareness of developmental disabilities among parents and physicians, and promotes state efforts to ensure early developmental screening. Compared to the cuts suffered by many programs in this year’s appropriations bills, the NCBDDD’s autism programs fared well, receiving an increase of $427,000 over last year’s funding level, for a total of $15.3 million.” http://www.autismspeaks.org/government_affairs/legislation.php

From this depiction of Autism and People with Autism, the organization, ‘Autism Speaks,’ would have people believe that People with Autism are plague-carriers. Autism Speaks likens People with Autism to family-destroying, misery-creating, hope-crushing, woe-enhancing, sleep-depriving, marriage-killing monsters. Autism Speaks presents People with Autism as being an instant ride to bankruptcy.

Not since reading about Nazi Germany have I seen such an outright negative portrayal of People with Disabilities. The fact that Autism Speaks is *supposed* to be supportive of People with Autism makes me absolutely shudder with disgust. I am not alone where this dismay at an organization that declares itself to be promoters of Autism and People with Autism yet presents such a hateful and destructive message is concerned:

Autism Speaks, through the presentation of, ‘I Am Autism,’ has changed their entire demeanor towards People with Autism, their family members and friends. Instead of placing value on people with autism, Autism Speaks has presented them as some kind of horrifying monsters, loose in society and bent on destruction. Autism Speaks wields immense amounts of money and power, with the ability to sway massive numbers of people in societies across the planet in relation to Autism. They are not using these abilities to the benefit of People with Autism.”

Can say I am feeling that comforted by the knowledge that people with such strong influence and power in relation to Autism and backed by a high paid Scientist and towing the devaluing Autistics line ought to have come from high positions in organisations involved in screening pre-borns for birth defect and early detection screening (as Mark and Elizabeth were). To me the next logical step in this is Eugenics.  Scary word and scary concept and not really overly support of Autistics….certainly not speaking for them.

So why do parents fall for the snake oil promises of Autism Speaks and Generation Rescue,  and their reprehensible propaganda?

Because parents make a decision to be a parent. Part of what they agree to is to be the best parent they can be. They do this in a firm belief that their children grow and develop a certain way and thus they have a base expectation for them and their own future and belief their children’s growth and achievements will honour them as parents.

Sometimes things happen. Their children may be born with a terminal condition, or they may miscarry, be stillborn, be mentally retarded, be deformed, be something which flies in the face of this vague idea of what they expected of life of being a parent.

In most cases they will not have a particular reason to pin it on and they will grieve and they will come to accept there is no blame and things in life do happen – even things such as the aforementioned and they will get over their grief and anger and learn to move on..

Autism Speaks and Generation Rescue, in the case of Autism, comes along and says “It is not just chance and it is not yours to grieve, accept and move from. Autism is an add-on that you had thrust onto your child by villains. Autism is a monster that inhibits and hides your child. People are responsible for this. Bad people. Be very angry. Be very strong. We are all powerful and will find the soon – no idea when though – cure and we have the best minds search a cure and the best minds bringing the people responsible to justice. We want to give you your dreams back.”

It is a bad ruse, nasty, praying on the minds of those that are most vulnerable.

Autism Speaks and Generation Rescue do not value nor speak for Autistics. It will value the Autistic person once they are free of Autism but does not value Autistics and is not worth your money nor support nor well wishings.

Want more information on Autism Speaks? Check out http://notautismspeaks.tk/?

From Bloke