Autism Awareness Month is very near to my heart. My 8 year old daughter Maddy is Autistic. A couple years ago I was educated on the organization Autism Speaks by a fellow mother of an Autistic son. Upon learning this information I have been repulsed by Autism Speaks ever since. No members of the Autistic Community have any direct ties to leadership in the organization and what is even more sad is that little to no funding goes toward supporting members of the Autistic Community. Through the Freedom of Information and several websites that give information on No Profit organizations you can easily research where this organization's money goes; largely to their extravagant lifestyle. This video I have shared up above sums up their organization quite clearly how their money is spent.
Upon researching further I was also angered to learn that Autism speaks in their so called "research" division of their organization advocates Eugenic philosophies, Eugenics = Eradication. Even though they have a budget for "research", very small be it compared to their salaries, they also fail to acknowledge pertinent environmental triggers for Autism. To read more about Autism Speaks and their Eugenic agenda check out this link Adventures in Autism: Does Autism Speaks Support Autism Eugenics?
There are so many other organizations out there that do actually work to support Autistic individuals and their families to find and obtain resources. Awareness is great and education is needed desperately as Autism has grown substantially to 1 in every 50 children born through 2005, but we need more than education, WE NEED ACTION NOW! How many children will it take to change the tide!? 1 in 25? 1 in 10???
These children will grow up and become adult citizens of our society and need to find jobs and deserve respect and support from their communities. Many of these individuals are still largely being denied medical care, resources and therapy that can be very beneficial foundations. My health insurance specifically states any and all medical care in regards to Autism is not covered. The only reason my daughter obtained more intensive Occupational Therapy in Preschool and Kindergarten was because she was on the Wyoming Kid Care Schip program. Wyoming has Child Development Centers that help small children and their families up to the age of 5 years, as do some states in the US. But due to a struggling economy in some areas this can be even more limited at times. My husband now makes enough that we no longer qualify for Schip insurance. Thankfully our daughter has support services at school and her former Occupational Therapist helped me for years implement ideas and ways to support Maddy at home if need be. But many more special needs children in states across our country are not as fortunate to receive such resources. By saying this I do not advocate the government as a reliable solution either, I believe it will be up to individuals in communities across the country to most effectively support the Autistic Community. But that is another conversation for another day.
To learn what organizations you can support that actually benefit the Autistic Community and their families please check out this link, a flyer developed by autismadvocacy.org, that also gives pertinent information about Autism Speaks. Before you donate to Autism Speaks consider the facts...