Autism Speaks: Acts of Love: Children Stages a Star-Studded Event
Autism Speaks hosted the fifth annual Acts of Love event on October 15, 2007 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
“Acts of Love: A Celebration of Children and Those Who Love Them” was presented by Cadillac and welcomed a lively crowd of over 500 to one of the city’s premier theater venues.
An ensemble cast performed an array of readings and quotes all in celebration of children. Through ticket sales, sponsorship and donations the event has raised more than $150,000 for autism research and treatments.
Gil Birmingham, Richard Cox, James Franco, Ian Hart, Wendie Malick, Michael McKean, Dermot Mulroney, Ming-Na, Annette O’Toole, Barry Shabaka Henley, Stephen Tobolowsky and Lorraine Toussaint formed a stunning ensemble cast for this year’s show.
At this one night only event, the audience was treated to readings of excerpts from Sigmund Freud, Bill Cosby, Audrey Hepburn, a short story by Stephen Tobolowsky himself, to name a few.
Voice-over artist Don LaFontaine wove the readings together with his world-famous baritone. Gary Dourdan led a jazz ensemble that filled the house with rhythm. The singing of Nita Whitaker, Julie Delgato and Valerie Pinkston mesmerized the actors and audience alike, and as the show came to an end, Nita brought the house down with her gorgeous rendition of “Aren’t you all our children after all?”.
In addition to the inspiring show, sponsors and VIP guests were treated to a celebrity pre-show dinner at Tanino Ristorante where Chef Tanino himself prepared an authentic Italian menu. All guests enjoyed a pre-show reception that featured Napa Valley Grille passed hors d’ouevres along with Stockholm Vodka’s signature drink of the evening, the Dreamtini.
Festivities continued after the show with Napa Valley Grille presenting an array of artisan cheeses, handmade desserts and wine selections designed by executive chef Joseph Gillard.
Special guests gracing the red carpet included Fileena Bahris, Marc Blucas, Robert Crais, Robert Forster, Edi Gathegi, Jodi Long, Mark Moses, Taylor Negron, Tava Smiley, Stephen Stills and Michael Underwood.
“Acts of Love: A Celebration of Children and Those Who Love Them” was a WordTheatre production created, produced, and directed by Cedering Fox. Mila Pesko served as associate producer and dramaturge. Mr. Nelson Kole directed the music.
Autism Speaks is proud to partner with the entertainment community to inspire creativity, heighten awareness and draw support for families affected by autism.
Autism Speaks gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsors of Acts of Love: A Celebration of Children and Those Who Love Them. Sponsors for 2007 included Cadillac as the Presenting Sponsor, Fox Movie Channel as Gold Sponsor and Red Carpet Host, Napa Valley Grille as Special Guest Reception Host and Sponsor, and Sony Pictures Television and United Healthcare as Silver Sponsors. Other event donors included Gluten Free and Fabulous, Equinox Fitness Clubs, Parallel Wines, Stila Cosmetics and Stockholm Krystall Vodka.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.