Originally published at The Tumultuous Truth
I know, I know, I said just a few blog posts back I was staying out of the macro autism stuff and sticking with family related topics. But I want to join the growing chorus of voices speaking out against Autism Speaks. A large American organisation that has the potential to do so much good, yet does so much crap. In a nut shell, my personal view from afar is, the co-founders of Autism Speaks, Bob and Suzanne Wright, need to shut the fuck up about autism until they work through their own issues. The catastrophic tirades need to stop. You're scaring the hell out of people, and dehumanising autistics. You know? Those autistic people you claim to support?
In case you missed it, here's the pile of dung Suzanne wrote recently, http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/autism-speaks-washington-call-action
I'm not going to retrace the history of the organisation here, I'll just link to some of the blog posts doing the rounds currently instead. But before I do that I'll remind people in the spirit of blogging more about my own mob, of what we, a family with two kids on the spectrum did just a few months ago. We went holidaying to Europe. http://sharon-theawfultruth.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/exploring-expectations.html
Our lives are not tragic. We are not trapped by our children. We, is my husband and I because yes despite claims by Suzanne Wright my husband and I are still together, just like most of the parents I know who have kids on the spectrum. We are a happy bunch for the most part. Sure there's challenges the average family don't have to navigate. But divorce, poverty, depression and whatever other calamity AS claim befalls any family where autism comes knocking is not the whole story. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
Sure parents have a right to feel sadness for their autistic kids. See my last post for my thoughts on grief. But the diabolical picture presented by Autism Speaks does nothing to help. If anything it compounds fear and grief, and parents really don't need the additional emphasis on the negatives from a organisation set up to support families. Compassion and understanding yes, perpetuation of worse case scenarios as the norm? No. Also, autism isn't child specific. Our kids grow up to become autistic adults, so shut up about the stolen children will you?
Anyway here's some links.
If I've missed any other links worth sharing please feel free to add them in the comments below.