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.
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. Autism involves many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not well understood. 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.
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. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines; the vaccine hypotheses are biologically implausible and lack convincing scientific evidence. 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.…..”
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
“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/?