Disband Autism Speaks

Disband Autism Speaks

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Avery Erin-Smith started this petition to Autism Speaks and

Autism Speaks is a very well-known organisation that claims to be helpful to autistic people, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. 

Autism Speaks has been known to compare autistic children to missing or dead children. In its infamous short film 'I am Autism', it portrayed autism as a destructive disorder that leaves no hope for those on the spectrum. In another video, they filmed a mother of an autistic child saying that "I contemplated putting [my autistic child] in the car and driving off the George Washington bridge.", as the child herself was in the background. Autism Speaks represented this as if it was okay and normal to think that about your own daughter. (Sidenote: the mother later apologised and founded her own, much better organisation, the Autism Science Foundation. The problem here is not with her, but with Autism Speaks.) This is incredibly dehumanising. With support, almost any autistic person is able to live a functional life. In fact, many celebrities are autistic, including Susan BoyleAnthony Hopkins and Satoshi Tajiri (the creator of Pokémon). Autism is not without its struggles, but it provides enhanced creativity and intelligence to many people. It allows them to see from a different perspective and point out things that may not be apparent at first. In some ways, autism is a gift, but Autism Speaks is determined to dehumanise autistic people and spread the false idea that autistic people are detrimental to society. 

Although many autistic people are happy being autistic, Autism Speaks is intent on getting rid of it in inhumane ways. It partnered up with the Judge Rotenburg Center. Instead of using proven and safe methods to help their patients, it dished out painful electric shocks to control their behaviour. This has left many autistic people with PTSD, without decreasing symptoms at all. To make things worse, Autism Speaks recommended this for all autistics, which greatly increased the amount of victims. If this isn't proof that Autism Speaks needs to be disbanded, I don't know what is.  

Even though this group claims to speak for autism, there is not one single autistic person in its ranks. Even though many autistic people are capable of speaking for themselves, Autism Speaks wants nothing to do with them. At one point, there was an autistic named John Elder Robison among them, who resigned in 2013 because the others weren't listening to him - even though he truly advocated for autism rights. He said, "Autism Speaks says it's the advocacy group for people with autism and their families. It's not, despite having had many chances to become that voice. Autism Speaks is the only major... health nonprofit whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by... the people affected by the condition they target. No one says the Cancer Society does not speak for them. No one describes the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as an evil organisation. All that and more is said of Autism Speaks every day.". Autism Speaks is trying to force their neurotypical opinions where they don't belong, and has no genuine interest in helping autistic people. 

Even the logo of Autism Speaks is detrimental. A puzzle piece being used to represent autism is considered outdated and offensive. It was originally used to maintain that autistic people have 'a puzzling disorder'. People on the spectrum weren't even consulted as to whether they agreed with this. It implies that something is 'missing' from autistics; that they are less than neurotypicals. Nowadays, a gold infinity symbol is used to represent autism, and a rainbow one for neurodiversity in general. If Autism Speaks kept the puzzle piece as its logo, that means it still thinks of autistic people as inferior. 

Autism Speaks is a fear mongering organisation that has terrorised autistics and their families for far too long. Your signature can help us take down Autism Speaks for once and for all. Thank you for considering. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!