Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Speaks and Autism Awareness Month

... I'm getting more and more uncomfortable with Autism Speaks. I'm not sure I'm against their research efforts completely- I've always maintained that I think there are problems associated with ASD that should be improved upon and even avoided. I find it unfortunate to frame the issue in terms of erradicating all autism, however, and I don't like how it's such a feel good issue. People donate money to Autism Speaks. Toys R Us is donating a portion of their proceeds to Autism Speaks. I don't like that people take it at face value that if they contribute to Autism Speaks, they are helping those with ASD, and the families of those affected by ASD.
I originally thought this Autism Awareness Month and all the blue stuff was bigger than Autism Speaks, but it really rubs me the wrong way that people could REALLY use some charitable efforts, you know, treatment is expensive, and Toys R Us gets to make all this money, and Autism Speaks gets to spend it all on developing prenatal testing methods if they want, and the people buying their little princess a cool toy get to feel all warm and fuzzy for "helping autism" and people affected by autism get to lose valuable time because they cannot afford ABA or Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy.

I know, I've been coming off a little entitled lately. I just think if people want to feel all warm and fuzzy, they might as well actually help the ASD community a little bit.

1 comment:

  1. You make some very good points. A lot of autistic self advocates have reservations about Autism Speaks, and as far as I'm concerned, that fact alone sounds warning bells in my head. Autism Speaks doesn't really have a presence in the UK and the whole 'blue' thing hasn't taken off here, for which I'm sort of grateful.