Autism Speaks Doesn’t Speak for Me

ACBC
3 min readApr 30, 2023

They don’t represent me or my community.

Photo by Aedrian on Unsplash

It’s Autism Acceptance Month.

A month where we learn about autism spectrum disorder and learn to break down institutional barriers to provide funding, grants, and financial and social support for those of us on the spectrum. While there are many organizations that do a good job supporting us, the one exception is Autism Speaks.

They claim to help those on the spectrum, when in reality a fraction of their budget actually goes towards helping people diagnosed with ASD. Furthermore, they often perpetuate stereotypes about people on the spectrum as this awful crying child that is just suuuuch a buuurden on the mothers. As though all of their individual problems are related to the children who happen to be born with a developmental disability like myself.

I have autism.

And let me tell you why Autism Speaks doesn’t represent me or my community.

They Help Themselves More Than Families

You would think that an organization named Autism Speaks would provide support and services to individuals with autism and their families. Instead, they don’t provide jack shit to those families that need assistance. While 22% of their annual budget goes towards fundraising, only 4% goes towards people with autism.

4 fucking percent.

How can you claim to “Speak” on behalf of people with autism if you provide more in fundraising and advertising than you do in essential services to those in need? If you really gave a shit, you’d stop profiting off the label and provide those families with decent fucking support. Although there are grants and scholarships it ranges from $500 to $1,500 and usually it’s work related.

You don’t get to “speak” for us if you don’t put your money where your mouth is.

The Mythical Cure

Autism Speaks is more than happy to provide resources towards this mythical cure towards autism. To completely eradicate it from existence, which by extension means kids who happen to be born with autism shouldn’t exist in their mind. And this shithole of an organization had the nerve to claim that vaccines cause autism, when there is no statistical evidence to suggest a direct correlation between autism and vaccinations of any kind.

It took me a long time to accept myself for having autism, and although there are times where it does frustrate me with social situations, I wouldn’t want this unique ability to draw from memory taken away.

They Disrespect Us Through Advertising

All their dumb ass videos often portray us as a huge burden and in a dark light. All of them show is dramatic Karens saying weird things like how they considered driving off a bridge because their autistic child was such a huge burden. Or often showing videos of kids crying and screaming. But how come they never show the damn video of what led them to cry and scream?

Did they take away their toy?

Did the mother scream at them before they filmed the child crying?

I don’t know.

But the disrespectful nature of portraying it as nothing but a burden reinforces a negative stereotype of us that’s already shown in tv shows and media. So it’s insulting to me that you would profit off of a video clip of us taken out of context, and that you’d profit by making yourself as a mother the victim. I’m not saying it’s easy to those mothers that do have a tough time with a son or daughter on the spectrum, but please for gods sakes don’t resort to this bullshit.

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ACBC

A person that really enjoys writing about food, culture, politics, justice, climate change, relationships, and other interesting topics.