Deconstruction | Autism Speaks PR: Joint Statement On Mercury from Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and the National Alliance for Autism Research | Circa July 6, 2005 #NotAnAutisticAlly


Press Release:

Joint Statement On Mercury from Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and the National Alliance for Autism Research


Summary: July 6, 2005

Autism Speaks is releasing a joint statement about mercury and thimerosol with Cure Autism Now (CAN) and National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) on July 6, 2005.

There’s not a single Autistic person mentioned in the entire press release. The autism organizations that participated in the joint statement – Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now (CAN), National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) – definitely didn’t include any Autistics in leadership positions either.

The Autistic Community, and the disabled community, have a motto: Nothing About Us Without Us. This joint statement failed to include Autistic people in a meaningful manner. The influencers from these organizations are not Autistic allies and aren’t connected to the Autistic Community.



The Person First Language (PFL) used in the press release is a red flag that this organization is parent-led or professional-led and doesn’t include Autistics in a meaningful manner.

The Autistic community uses Identity First Language (IFL). We identify as Autistic people. We have Autistic culture, Autistic community, and even Autistic humor. Organizations connected to the Autistic community show respect to our culture by using IFL.

The press release pushes tragedy and fear narrative to describe autism, or being “affected” by an Autistic person. This type of marketing has been incredible in driving donations to “cure” autism.

It also promotes autism myths that mercury, or thimerosol in vaccines, causes autism. It shows that they will continue to fund research to prove the vaccine – autism myth is real.

The cure for autism is the modern terminology used for eugenics. To cure autism is to prevent the birth of a child based on “autism risk.” This is the same cure society has for Down Syndrome.


Autistic Community: The Autistic community is comprised of almost all Autistic people and a few of our true allies. The Autistic community is not the same as the “Autism Community.” The Autistic community was created by Autistic people worldwide.

Autism Community”: The Autism community is mainly comprised of non-Autistic parents or loved ones of an Autistic, professionals and other non-Autistic people. The organizations in this community are typically parent-led. This community was created by non-Autistics and is quite often the focus in media communications.


The Autism Speaks press release uses tragedy narrative and fear narrative, and promotes autism myths. It is geared to the organizations’ created “Autism Community.” It also includes dangerous influencers: Bob Wright, Sallie Bernard, and Prisca Chen Marvin.

The release also shows the Autism Speaks Influence network in action.


Quote:

JULY 6, 2005 — Every 20 minutes, another family receives the devastating news that their child has autism, a lifelong neurological disorder that impairs cognition and communication, as well as social and motor behaviors. Autism has reached alarming rates, today affecting one in every 166 children. 

The Breakdown

  • Autism is a devastating lifelong neurological disorder
  • Autism impairs cognition and communication.
  • Autism impairs social and motor behaviors.
  • Autism has reached alarming rates. Prevalence is 1 in 166 children.

Quote:



Current research indicates that autism has a strong genetic component and may be triggered by environmental factors. Mercury, including the preservative thimerosal, is among the environmental factors currently under scientific investigation. Cure Autism Now (CAN), Autism Speaks and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) will support and fund research that investigates all theories surrounding potential causes of autism, including whether there is a link between mercury and autism, and we invite researchers to submit proposals in this area.

The Breakdown

  • Autism has a strong genetic component.
  • Autism may be triggered by environmental factors,
  • Environmental Factors under scientific investigation are mercury, thimerosal,
  • Cure Autism Now (CAN) will support and fund research mercury and autism.
  • Autism Speaks will support and fund research mercury and autism.
  • National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) will support and fund research mercury and autism.
  • Researchers are invited to submit proposals in the area of mercury and autism research.

Quote:

NAAR, CAN and Autism Speaks are dedicated to uncovering the biology of autism and developing effective biomedical treatments through research funding. Together, our organizations are guided by an uncompromising passion to understand this complex disorder and hasten the discovery of a cure.

The Breakdown

  • NAAR, CAN and Autism Speaks are dedicated to uncovering biology of autism.
  • NAAR, CAN and Autism Speaks are dedicated to developing effective biomedical treatments
  • NAAR, CAN and Autism Speaks will do this via research funding.
  • Working together these organizations can hasten science.
  • Working together these organizations can hurry up and find the cure for autism.

Quote:

— Bob Wright, Board Chair, Autism Speaks
Grandparent of a child with autism


— Sallie Bernard, Board Chair, Cure Autism Now
Parent of a child with autism

— Prisca Chen Marvin, Board Chair, National Alliance for Autism Research
Parent of a child with autism

The Breakdown

  • Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks
    • Grandparent of an Autistic
  • Sallie Bernard, board member of Cure Autism Now
    • Parent of an Autistic
  • Prisca Chen Marvin, board chair of National Alliance for Autism Research
    • Parent of an Autistic

Comparison Table

What They SayWhat I see
Legislation & Initiatives

– Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and National Alliance for Autism Research will support and fund research into mercury and thimerosal causing autism.












– These organizations wish to connect with scientists, and invite proposals in the area of mercury and autism to be submitted for consideration.



– These organizations working together can hasten science and the cure for autism, and are dedicated to developing biomedical treatment










– Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and the National Alliance for Autism Research will fund research into the myth that vaccines cause autism.

– The orgs will take money and donations from communities, parents and concerned citizens to fund this research. This money will never return to the local community, and leaves zero support for quality of life support for Autistics of all ages.


– These parent-led organizations seek to connect with scientists who wish to explore the area of vaccines causing autism and are invited to submit a proposal.

– These organizations working together can more quickly the genetic ‘autism risk’ during pregnancy and give the ‘cure’ option to terminate the pregnancy. This is modern eugenics.

– Parents of Autistics will decide which direction they want to fund research – and when the US government refuses to spend more money on autism – vaccine studies, these orgs will continue to fund those studies and have those studies conducted by researchers and scientists they like.
Influencers/Influenced



Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks
Grandparent of an Autistic
– Vice Chairman of General Electric (GE)
– CEO NBC Universal

Sallie Bernard, board member of Cure Autism Now
Parent of an Autistic

Prisca Chen Marvin, board chair of National Alliance for Autism Research
Parent of an Autistic




– Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks.
– Non-Autistic grandparent of an Autistic
– Not an Autistic Ally
– Dangerous Influencer
– Silences/and or speaks over Autistic advocates and Autistic people.

– Sallie Bernard, board member of CAN
– Parent of an Autistic

– Prisca Chen Marvin, board chair of NAAR
– Non-Autistic parent of an Autistic
Target/Demographic
– Parents of Autistics
– Grandparents of an Autistic
– Loved ones of an Autistic
– Professionals
– Concerned US citizens
– Potential donors
– Doesn’t include Autistics
– Doesn’t include Autistic Parents of Autistics
– Doesn’t include Autistic Community
– Doesn’t include Autistic professionals
Marketing & Language Used
– Person First Language (PFL)

– Autism Community
– Medical Community

– Autism Prevalence 
– Alarming, devastating,
– cure

– Mercury
Thimerosal



– Autistic Culture uses Identity First Language (IFL)

– Doesn’t include Autistic people
– Doesn’t include Autistic Community
– Doesn’t include Autistic Culture

– Tragedy Narrative
– Fear/Violence Narrative
– Cure/Eugenics language

– “Vaccines cause autism” Autism Myth

3 Replies to “Deconstruction | Autism Speaks PR: Joint Statement On Mercury from Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and the National Alliance for Autism Research | Circa July 6, 2005 #NotAnAutisticAlly”

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