‘I’m autistic: I can speak for myself.’
p2pnet news view P2P | Freedom:- “Hi Jon,” says a long-time p2pnet reader, “I’ve been out of touch lately because I have been working on 3 HUGE projects.”
In the process, she says, “I ran into an organization that really could use some exposure and I think you’ll agree there’s also a story about the suppression of free speech.
Here’s the story >>>
A charity that claims to represent autistic people has previously threatened an autistic girl who posted a parody of AutismSpeaks.org. The girl 14 at the time, made a website called NTspeaks.org.
NT means neurotypical and is used by us who are autistic to describe those who are not autistic.
NTspeaks.org was shut down and Gareth Nelson, who founded the autism rightsgroup Aspies For Freedom, registered two more parody sites – NTspeaks.com and NTspeaks.net.
These sites are still up and running.
Now, this “charity” is at it again. This time, it’s threatening to sue an autistic individual named Zach, who posted about the incident on his site. Zach has designed a variety of humorous and more serious t-shirts for people with autism.
One of these T-shirts says, “Autism Speaks can go away. I have autism. I can speak for myself.” Zach is one of a huge number of autistic individuals who feel that Autism Speaks does more harm than good so his t-shirts voice sentiments shared by a large community.
Zazzle, the company that was printing Zach’s t-shirts, received a “request” from Autism Speaks to stop printing his product.
On the website aspieweb.net, Zach had this to say, “Did you know that Autism Speaks does not have one person with Autism employed or in a leadership role of the organization?
“Not one person with Autism contributes to the decision making of Autism Speaks at all. So what are the Autistic Peoples course of action when they disagree with Autism Speaks?”
I wish to remain anonymous because I have an account on autismspeaks.org. I have this account because there are many people who go there for information.
As a high functioning autistic myself, I try to help parents and others affected by autism in a positive light. Many autistic people believe that Autism Speaks is searching for genetic markers that cause autism so that autism can be eliminated by eugenics.
Many of us also believe that Autism speaks presents autistic children in a negative light just in order to instill fear for monetary gain. I have yet to see an article on Autism Speaks that presents any positive aspects of autism.
Most of the autistic people shown on Autism Speaks website are either children or very low functiong adults.
What about the rest of us?
I could not speak until after I turned four.
Even many non-verbal adults with autism contribute to society. One such person, Temple Grandin, didn’t connect until way into adulthood.
She is now a college professor and animal equipment designer. Her designs are used in a majority of animal processing facilities within the US and other countries.
By the way, she is still AUTISTIC! Just because an autistic child may throw tantrums, be non-verbal, and otherwise impaired does not mean that they will be the same as adults. Autistic people grow and learn like any other human.
We only do it at different paces and in different ways.
I for one, do not want to be cured. Being autistic is a part of who I am. It is what gives me the ability sit down for a long time in front of a computer in order to write programs. It also is what allows me to visualize how things work and improve on their design.
“Curing” me would meant taking the person I am and REPLACING me with another person. The answer I want from Autism Speaks is why it does not spend the money it receives for providing appropriate education and support for autistic people. With the huge amounts of money it receives, it could benefit many, many autistic people. There are plenty of autistic adults like me who blend into society and who are considered typical, yet we are hardly mentioned by Autism Speaks.
If you don’t belive me, then visit some of these sites:
The three biggest enemies of autistic people are fear, ignorance, and discrimination.
It seems to me that Autism Speaks would be tackling these things if it wanted to help us instead of encouraging and promoting them.
It is Autism Speaks that needs to listen!
“Autism speaks is a registered trademark and no infringement is intended. This site serves as a parody and a protest against autism speak’s intimidation of the previous owner of ntspeaks.org. As an autism charity who claims to help autistics, threatening to sue autistic children is NOT a good idea. It is the author’s hope that this site serves to show autism speaks’ true nature.
“Should a cease and desist notice be sent, it will be published and openly mocked as being ignorant on the doctrine of fair use and the defence of parody. By sending any cease and desist notice you are giving your consent for it to be published here.
“Autism speaks: it’s time for YOU to listen.”
11 Responses to “‘I’m autistic: I can speak for myself.’”
July 10th, 2008 at 7:29 am
I have Autism as well, not the full blown Autism but I have Asperger’s Syndrome. My college knows about this, it has been well documented but I get attacks from cause of this. In fact I have been expelled from my college which they reason was “to be help me” which is utterly ridiculous and not much of an excuse. They don’t give any other reason, I believe this is because I have Asperger’s and a learning disability. All this mess began when I complained to the Dean that my English teacher had told to me “I hate retards” after I gave her a sheet notifying her of my disability and Asperger’s. People need to be educated.
July 10th, 2008 at 7:40 am
I deal with the type of discrimination xforce talks about all the time. I am a “high functioning” autistic who is ineligible for any social service but too different to be treated the same as everyone else in many cases. Xforce if you are in the Police States of Amerika, you might have a case under the Americans with Disabilities act. I have also been called retard many times even though I’m twice as intelligent as those who are doing the name calling.
Reader’s Write Says:
July 10th, 2008 at 7:50 am
I am not autistic myself. I don’t know much about autism period. Regardless, it burns my blood that any human being (especially in my home country!) would stoop so low as to refer to someone who learns and develops in a different manner as retarded. What college is this? I need to make sure that anyone I know never attends that institution of “higher learning”.
July 10th, 2008 at 7:56 am
I have to say as an average Canadian I had very little idea on what Autism actually was until I saw a Horizon Documentary on Temple Grandin “The Woman Who Thinks Like A Cow”. To say it really opened my eyes is an understatement, not only the about the condition but the people affected by it. Its sad to see that an organization supposedly dedicated to helping and supporting people who have autism actively trying to shut them up for trying to tell their own stories and ideas in their own way.
The sad part is many organizations such as the one mentioned above and other often have their own vision of how they should be helping the people they supposedly support, but rarely take the time to actually ask the people they support what they actually want/need.
Autism : Autism Speaks Supresses the Free Speech of People with Autism Says:
July 10th, 2008 at 8:55 am
[…] to speak at their events, even though their name is “Autism Speaks”), AS instead threatens to sue them. Even for legal parodies, even for t-shirts that say, “Autism Speaks can go away. I have autism. I […]
Reader’s Write Says:
July 10th, 2008 at 9:14 am
“I am a thirty something wife of a wonderful man and mother to two beautiful boys. I am a Johns Hopkins educated family therapist with a current case load of one, my son Chandler who has autism.”
“If AS first priority is squelching criticism of their organization by people with autism, there is a much cheaper way to do that. Stop looking for a cure and don’t teach people with autism how to talk. That way, you save money on both ends, you don’t have to spend it on research and speech therapy now, NOR do you have to spend it on lawyers to get them to shut up later!”
July 10th, 2008 at 9:44 am
Autism Speaks should let the public know that there is overwhelmening reseaerch over the years that some non-famililal autism is caused by older fathers in one generation or another. A drive to educate the public about the paternal age effect is indicated.
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23849196-5000117,00.html Genetic clock ticks for men Article from: comment Les Sheffield
June 12, 2008 12:00am – MOST men would have been surprised to read that overseas researchers had found the death rate of young adults was higher if they had been born to older fathers.
This is no surprise to me. It has been scientifically established that genetic changes occur more often in the sperm of older fathers than younger fathers.
As men age there is a higher chance of changes in the genes in the sperm.
These changes can cause genetic conditions in their offspring, such as birth defects, autism and schizophrenia.
Their partners can also have an increased risk of miscarriages.
The presumed reason for the increase occurrence of all of these conditions is that they are all due to a new genetic change in the sperm of the older father.
Reader’s Write Says:
July 10th, 2008 at 9:45 am
This is all too often the case. So called disability advocacy groups many times end up doing much more harm than good. I happen to be blind, and I can relate. For decades we had sighted “experts” telling us what our capabilities were and were not. It was only until we organized for our selves were we able to effectively chalenge the ancient supersticians forced upon us by the so called professionals who knew more about blindness than did the blind.
For those fighting AS, let me make a suggestion. Many of these thoughts might be unnecessary, as I don’t know what efforts currently exist. However, if you don’t like the dominant organization, create your own. Organize. Run the organization like AS should be run. Use the failure of AS to truly represent the needs of people with autism as a springboard to launch your organization, but don’t make that your primary focus. Make your primary focus helping autistic people, overthrowing negative stereotypes, and educating parents with autistic children. Creating parody shirts and web sites is a good start, but don’t let it end there. If AS must go, then make it happen.
For a historical overview of how the blind did it in the US, I suggest you read the book Walking Alone and Marching Together. It is available in print or online at http://nfb.org/legacy/books/books1/wamtc.htm
When I went to the site, I was prompted for a username and password for some reason, but I just hit cancel and the page loaded ok.
Reader’s Write Says:
July 10th, 2008 at 10:14 am
“i have never had a blog before. but i think maybe this is healthy and refreshing at the same time. i sometimes feel sick when i think about ben’s future. ben is my two yearold son, who was diagnosed with autism about 4 months ago. funny now he is getting a lot of services and i have yet to see a real improvement. in fact in some areas i think he is worse. in my mind i thought that once ben started getting treatment he would magicaly start talking and be fine. it wasn’t until recently when i started to realize that this was him for the rest of his life. and maybe he won’t ever talk to me and maybe he won’t ever move out. i laugh because i really thought that he was going to just “poof” be better. but now i am not so sure. i take things day by day and i try not to think about what will happen tomorrow. but i’ll tell you one thing i keep repeating to myself is “god will only give you what you can handle”.
July 10th, 2008 at 3:13 pm
A lady I know, Helen Ezell, has done exactly that. She has formed an organization called the Autism Education Center in Panama City, Florida. She has four sons all with Autism or Aspergers Syndrome(related). She has a website called http://www.autismeducationcenter.net . She plans to run it as a nonprofit organization that will educate not only people like me but also educate neurotypical parents and hopefully, neurotypical children about autism. She also wants to provide treatments and therapies. I am an autistic advisor that will be on staff to mentor parents and teens.
Reader’s Write Says:
July 12th, 2008 at 9:48 am
I am sick an tired of all these morons speaking condesently to anyone who does not look or think like them!
One can not stop human stipidity!