Autism Speaks, We Need Answers
The study found a parent-reported autism prevalence rate higher than previous US estimates, although not significantly different from the figures found in studies from the UK and other countries. Notwithstanding the fact that this new study merely brings autism prevalence estimates in the United States more in line with those from other parts of the world, Autism Speaks howls on its web page, "These new findings reinforce that autism is an urgent and growing public health crisis…"
Well, no, these findings don't prove anything of the sort. About all that's being reinforced here is Autism Speaks' penchant for unethical advertising based on distorting the facts, which isn't anything new either. But I have to agree with them on one point: We need answers. No, not to the question of why there are so many autistic people in the world, which is a question that I consider just as obnoxious as if it had been asked about any other minority group. Here are just a few of the questions I'd like to see them answer:
(1) Autism Speaks, how long do you think you're going to be able to keep large numbers of parents obediently marching in your fundraising walks to pay your executives' hefty salaries and to fund your eugenics-loving researchers, when it's increasingly obvious that almost none of the money raised goes back to communities for family services?
(2) When large numbers of disability groups take the almost unprecedented step of publicly condemning an advocacy organization's harmful advertising and unrepresentative practices, doesn't that suggest it might be a good idea for said organization to rethink its approach?
(3) Do you really expect that nobody is going to notice when, instead of encouraging meaningful participation in decision-making by those on whose behalf you pretend to speak, you curse self-advocates and claim that they don't exist?
We're never going to see any responses to these questions, of course—but Autism Speaks' stonewalling doesn't change the fact that we need answers.
Labels: Autism Speaks