Tag Archives: autism speaks


9 Apr

I know it’s Autism Awareness Month, but it kind of feels like Autism Speaks Month.

That doesn’t sit right with me.

1 in 110

29 Apr

First, watch this PSA from Autism Speaks, which strongly advocates for an autism cure.  This ad created a lot of outrage from those of us who don’t see autism as a terminal illness.

Thanks, Autism Speaks.  I didn’t realize that my existence caused my family nothing but pain, suffering, and embarrassment.  It’s “too late” for me.  I guess I’m responsible for my parents’ divorce too.

Now, watch this PSA from ASAN, the Autism Self-advocacy Network, from people who have autism.

Just because we’re different doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be accepted the way we are, and provided with the assistance to live our lives in our own way.  We need more focus on education, acceptance, and support for autistics and their families.  If they find a “cure” someday then people can decide what to do when that happens.  But right now, we need people to embrace neurodiversity because our wiring may be different but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Supposedly one in 110 children have autism (I love how adults are never included in these statistics).  And according to Autism Speaks, one in 70 boys have autism.  Think about that.  It’s an immense number of people.  How can that many people be “sick”?  If these numbers are true then autism starts to sound less like a disease and more like part of the natural spectrum of human existence.

autism awareness month

6 Apr

April is National Autism Awareness Month.   Autism groups from around the country are having all sorts of events this month.  In general, I think it’s a good thing.  But, as I have mentioned before, I get a little sensitive about calling autism a disease.  Many other high-functioning autistics would agree with me.  We like to think of it as just a different way of processing information, a different brain structure.

I think we need to be very careful about referring to autism as an epidemic, as if it’s the plague or something.  This implies that we need to be cured.  A lot of us don’t agree with that.  Sure, we need to do more research.  Sure, we need to help people become functional members of society.  But we don’t need to be fixed.  We’ll never be “normal” and that’s okay.  I think we need to focus on promoting neurodiversity too, so that people understand that it’s just another way of being.  I’m talking to you, Autism Speaks.

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