Cosby/Braxton Concert Raises Over $1.4 Million for Autism Speaks
The Concert for Autism Speaks, held April 9, 2007 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, featured a stand-up routine by Cosby and a musical performance by Autism Speaks celebrity spokesperson Braxton. The funds raised from the event will help fund research grants to investigate the causes, including environmental, of this devastating neurobiological disorder.
The program was emceed by NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, and drew celebrities including actors Matthew Broderick, Joe Pantoliano and Shia LaBeouf, star of DreamWorks SKG’s Disturbia; comedian and 2005 Concert for Autism Speaks headliner Jerry Seinfeld; Today Showweatherman Al Roker; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels as well as current and past cast members Rachel Dratch, Bill Hader, Seth Myers, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson and Kristen Wiig; and NBC’s 30 Rock cast members Lonny Ross, Katrina Bowden and Jane Krakowski. More than 1,000 people were in attendance.
The concert, the first held by Autism Speaks in New York, was the organization’s third such performance-fundraiser. A Los Angeles concert with comedian Jerry Seinfeld helped raise $1.8 million in September 2005 (photo gallery), and a Las Vegas concert with The Tonight Show‘s Jay Leno brought in nearly $1 million in October 2006.
Highlights of the evening’s performances included a duet between Braxton and Michael McDonald who joined voices on “Stop, Look & Listen,” and a performance by saxophonist Walter Brandling, Jr., a guest of Bill Cosby, who performed in tribute to families struggling with autism.
In remarks at this event, Suzanne Wright, Autism Speaks co-founder and event co-chair, emphasized the escalating urgency for research and awareness, citing the increasing incidence rates of autism.
“From 1992, the year the U.S. government began collecting data, through 2003, the number of American children with autism skyrocketed a staggering 800 percent.
“Today, autism affects 1 in 150 children, and a shocking 1 in 94 boys. By the end of this concert, six more families will receive the devastating news that their child has autism.”
Addressing the need for increased research, Bob Wright, Autism Speaks co-founder and event co-chair, noted:
“They say you can’t hurry science. I say we have no choice. We must move as quickly as we can, because more and more children are being diagnosed every day, more and more parents are left with no answers, and more and more families face financial ruin as they desperately turn wherever they can seeking help – help which is usually not covered by insurance.
Finding the answers will take a commitment far beyond what we’ve seen to date. We need to turn up the heat and keep it turned on.”
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.