Friday, January 31, 2014

The #BoycottAutismSpeaks Movement is #posAutive

I have been working devotedly on the Boycott Autism Speaks movement. I am proud to stand in opposition of the "charity" Autism Speaks, which so blatantly describes my family as not really living, but then profits off the heads of my children. I am proud to stand with the dream team of Autistic and parent activists collaborating on this effort. As expected, we have already faced criticism. Most of these reoccurring attempts to derail are centered around the shallow idea that boycott is negative in nature. This notion illustrates one of the major hurdles that we all must face. Perceptions of Autistic people, their lives, their needs, their contributions, are so opposite of Autistic reality, that the non-Autistic majority cannot even imagine the truth. The truth is that this boycott is not negative. The truth is that this boycott is posAutive.

When a group of people comes under attack by a powerful entity determined to eradicate their kind, that's a negative.

When that group of people unites to say NO, stop attacking us, we don't want to be eradicated, that's a positive.

When Suzanne Wright sends out a call to action, telling the world that Autism is a tragedy, burden, and national emergency, that's a negative.

When Autistics and their loved ones come together to share the beautiful actuality that Autism is, that's a positive.

When an organization claims to be serving Autistics, but refuses to include Autistics in positions of leadership in order to guide the care that the organization provides, and instead uses it's power and influence to serve their own non-Autistic agenda, that's a negative.

When an organization serving Autistics is actually run by Autistics, and they use their intrinsic understanding to provide authentic supports and better their own lives, to empower their own, that's a positive.

When the good people of the world want to help, but they unknowingly give their time and money to a "charity", which spends the money unethically and uses it to cater to their own needs, that's a negative.

When the good people investigate how their donations are spent, figuring out that the "charity" is in fact unethical, and then they stop giving their hard earned time and money to that "charity", that's a positive.

I resent having to explain the irony of how Autistic people are perceived and treated, pitied and feared, over and over and over again. I understand that some people are simply ignorant. I know I was in the beginning. I know I still am in ways I cannot imagine. This one is so obvious though. The way Autism Speaks treats Autistic people is inhumane, but because the world thinks that it is Autistics that are less than human, the kind of dangerous bigotry Autism Speaks spreads is perceived as altruistic, as helpful, as positive.

It's NOT.


Don't tell me to say NO nicely, because there is nothing nice or positive or good about Autism Speaks. Don't scold me for defending my own children. Don't shame me for confronting the world with truth. Don't derail me. Don't derail this boycott. Don't lie to yourself and think staying neutral in a struggle for civil rights makes you a positive person. Don't think it is anything more than immoral to get in our way.

Don't ignore the Autistic plea to be treated with dignity and respect.

It won't work anyway.

Good, and love, and positivity always win.

That is the side we stand with.



  1. Great artical. I'm not in USA so don't know either org well. However I feel the judgement that will come from some artical I read in the UK and they make me cringe on behalf of my son. I'm fed up only seeing him portrayed as something to be pitied, feared and shamed. Seldom do i see positive views grounded in the reality of who my son is and his often unrecognised potencial. What I hear is how unlike an autistic person he is, I then wonder the stereotypical view of ASD kids that person has. Becouse his love of animals, and dislike of how thir often treated...his grief at the last human casulty of war natural disaster etc etc. He's not typical! I find he is typical of many of his ASD peers. The reaction and emotion is thir the willingness to do what he can is thir, followed by action. What's diffrent may be just the surface social discursive chat around it. What frightens me is non ASD familure er views that thir would be no feeling or care over thes events. A bit of acceptance of the reality of who he is (and peers) would be appriated instead of the stereotype. Social emotional communicative disorder dose not equal unfeeling or uncaring. It be nice for the differences or sensory issues to be highlighted. Then within that the potencial fir the individual to be who they are, as an individual is encouraged and taught to the public. My child's more than a list of symptoms and problems. He is an individual who happens to have autism. Perhaps some sort of publication is required to tease out the experience of ASD people within the context of thir disability but including thir strenth, and also has room for the individuels personality. That in turn allows the general public to understand the kids asd signifiers but also thir range of degree of diffrence. Thee potencial our kids have could be valued better once the society changes it's view on our kids, at lest enough to have them accepted as people irrespective of the diagnosis. I might have had a rant thir, if so sorry. Please continue with positive images of who our kids are becouse those images build thir future world. Thanks

  2. Right On!
    However, There's more work to be done like
    1. Encourage the american public to not donate one recent to A.S. throughout the christmas season
    2. Educate the public the truth about the organization (Perhaps start a patreon or kickstarter on making a documentary)