You’ve seen me hammering on Autism Speaks (A$) over the years, and I believe even now it’s hard for folks to fathom how incredibly invasive this horrible organization has been in Autistic people’s lives.
Many don’t realize all these problematic Autism organizations are connected in some manner to A$ as well.
OK, here’s some basic Autistic history here so you can see the connections.
First up, the Autism Speaks merger in 2005 summed up best as possible:
Cure Autism Now (CAN) – National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) – Autism Coalition for Research and Education (AGRE)
merged together, the folks involved then:
Autism Speaks (2005) – Founding family: Bob, Suzanne, Katie Wright. Bob Wright brought on Alison Singer from NBC and became Executive Vice President.
Bernie Marcus (think Home Depot), Jonathan Shestack and Portia Iversen (Think CAN and acting) – donations of $25 million and $10 million, respectively, for the launch I believe. Hence, this is not a grassroots organization. At. All.
Autism Speaks – Bob Wright and Suzanne Wright (now deceased)
Children’s Health Defense (Antivaxxer/bleachcult propaganda organization and site) – Katie Wright
National Council For Severe Autism (NCSA), Spark!, Autism Science Foundation (ASF) – Alison Singer.
What happened? How did we get leaders of the #bleachcult, the ‘cure them’ fanatics and also bashed for some perceived functioning level no autistic meets by NCSA?
Yeah, there’s more than one front for Autistics to fight the bullshit on. There are three fronts Autistics have to battle. And ALL of them are related back to Autism Speaks in history.
All of them fighting for the all-mighty dollar in the name of autism.
Yet, they exclude Autistic people every step of the way, except their hand-chosen autistic self-advocates to ‘show’ they are inclusive this year, while Lisa Goring’s, an Autism Speaks executive, husband private messages an Autistic activist a message calling them a C!nt. How’s that for #KindnessCounts?
Infuriatingly, this isn’t an anomaly. It is the culture of ugly Autism Speaks cultivated against Autistic people the past 15 years.
Autistics have seen and felt A$ wrath repeatedly over the years. Billy Mann (A$ board member) and William Shatner (A$ celebrity influencer) are recent examples of this culture as well.
So some more detail:
Katie Wright parts ways from Autism Speaks in a family fallout over direction of Autism Research. She joins Generation Rescue, promotes vaccine-injury with Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, JB Handley (and his wife) and is a big name and leader among the antivaxxer/bleachcult.
Generation Rescue brought us Kerri Rivera in a big way, and she is queen of the bleachcult and AutismOne. Kerri Rivera was connected personally and directly to vulnerable parents through Generation Rescue’s program: Generation Rescue Angels.
This all ties back to Scientology drop out Jim Humble, his church of bleach “Genesis II” and Miracle Mineral Solution ‘healing, recovery, cure’ for Autism and many other quack claims. These are the folks connected to the FDA warnings and injunction recently for false ‘cure’ claims of covid-19.
Generation Rescue is defunct now as of last year. They were exposed by national media for their bad practices and lies. However, that didn’t stop them. This cult is reinvigorated through RFK Jrs Children’s Health Defense now, where Katie Wright sits on the board.
These are the people who worship Andrew Wakefield, the debunked doctor who had his license to practice revoked in the UK over false autism-vaccine claims.
Generation Rescue was a source of misinformation, lies and horrific bullying towards Autistic people, and was networked heavily with every antivaxxer bleachcult quack out there.
These quack treatments supported by Generation Rescue and their cult, were promoted in books by Jenny McCarthy. Jenny and her buddy JB Handley and tried to launch another book/campaign to “End The Autism Epidemic” but were demolished online in social media efforts by Autistic Activists and our REAL allies.
So the Autism Speaks merger didn’t go well and by 2007 Katie Wright was mad they weren’t putting MORE money to fund research to prove false belief that vaccines caused autism .
Katie Wright departed, and went where she could be the loudest and not be censored by her parents and Autism Speaks … and landed at Generation Rescue. This allowed her to be able to say anything she wanted and not tarnish Autism Speaks’ image, while at the same time she did freely use her last name Wright and connections to her billionaire family to legitimize her work. She regularly affiliated with her parents at public events too.
Note: Katie Wright is a queen of the antivaxxer/bleachcult. Loves the Andrew Wakefield and is one of the meanest bitches out there to autistic activists. Though I’d say TACA members would give a good close second. She’s talked about using chelation publicly before on her autistic child.
Alison Singer departs Autism Speaks. Too much focus is still on the debunked vaccine-autism link, and too much money wasted in research to prove the connection. She launches her own Autism organization: Autism Science Foundation.
Most recently, Singer launched the self-named organization: National Council for Severe Autism (NCSA). This organization actively battles Autistic activists over civil and human rights.
Let’s not forget, Alison Singer is the mom (and a big part of the A$ marketing genius) who was in the film “Autism Every Day” and contemplated driving her car off a bridge with her child in the car. She openly shared these thoughts in the presence of her autistic daughter.
Two murders of autistic children by parents afterward were said to be influenced by this documentary and her words.
Autistics Activists are fighting all three fronts now. These organizations want to prevent us from being born, cure us with toxic quackery like bleach and chelation, or fix us after we’re born to pass as neurotypical with thousands of hours of ABA. All of these organizations are tied to BIG $$$ and big business returns.
Autistics have been battling the ugly and harmful culture generated by these powerful organizations that have repeatedly silenced us, acted as if we didn’t exist and only now openly recognize autistic children grow up to be to autistic adults.
It’s far too late for them, however. Today’s Autistic adults are being heard in a big way. In the news, in the media and everywhere. We’ve finally broken the media silence here in the USA due to the efforts of Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network (AWN), The Autistic Cooperative (TAC), Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM) plus many many more Autistic-led organizations, self-advocates and real allies.
Autistic people have been in a civil and human rights movement for over 30 years, and 15 years now fighting Autism Speaks too.
We aren’t the only ones. Autism Speaks lacks even basic understanding of disability community culture and facts. They’ve isolated themselves from these important communities that have self-advocates and refuse to hear any of us protesting their practices.
Autism Speaks has had over 60 disability rights organizations condemn them for failing to represent Autistic people accurately and for exploitative practices.
Please discontinue support of Autism Speaks, and other harmful organizations like them, and support Autistic- led and reputable organizations instead.
It’s time to stop harming Autistic people, step to the side and let us speak for ourselves. Autism Speaks has already had 15 years … they’ve already failed my children and family for 15 years … and now they want to talk about their new re-vamp that includes self-advocates and autistic activism? They want to join the Autistic revolution? Stop the bullshit already.
This is a lip service and marketing gimmick – just like their most recent apologies by Paul Goring and Billy Mann.
Autism Speaks fails at including Autistic history, culture, people and humor in their ‘inclusion’ campaign. They’ve let loose their martyr moms on us for YEARS now. They’ve created mass hate waves against Autistic people with their tragedy narrative, and their non-autistic advocates dog piling their parenting woes in online groups, and promoting the culture that leads to parents and caregivers to harm or even murder their Autistic children.
Even now, with Autism Speaks’ PR changes that re-branded their blue puzzle pieces to ones with a pink and blue spectrum to show ‘inclusion’ and promote ‘kindness counts,’ the culture they’ve created throughout the years bites them in the ass with the Paul Goring incident. Remember Paul Goring, the husband of Autism Speaks executive Lisa Goring, who private messaged an Autistic activist, and board member of Fierce Autistic and Allies, and called them C!nt for protesting A$ and advocating for Autistic human and civil rights?
Yeah, that culture they created and promoted bit them in the ass in such a way they can’t deny it believably anymore.
Support Autistic people, not Autism organizations that hurt us. My Autistic children and your Autistic children deserve far better than this ugly mess.
It’s time Autism Speaks gets out of mine and my family’s healthcare. Time for them to get out of influencing legislation on Autistc people’s behalf while not having any Autistic people included.
The time is now, Autism Speaks: Shut up.