Archive | Geraldine ”Geri” Dawson of Autism Speaks | #AutisticHistory #StopBigAutism #BanABA


Geri Dawson of Autism Speaks

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Geraldine Dawson became Autism Speaks’ first Chief Science Officer in January of 2008. In this role, Geri serves as the scientific leader of Autism Speaks, working with the scientific community; stakeholders, and science staff, to shape, expand, and communicate the foundation’s scientific vision and strategy. 

Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Geri was Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Washington and Founding Director of the University of Washington Autism Center, which has been designated an NIH Center of Excellence since 1996.

While at the University, Geri led a multi-disciplinary autism research program focusing on genetics, neuroimaging, diagnosis, and treatment. Geri’s own research has been in the areas of early detection and treatment of autism, early patterns of brain dysfunction (electrophysiology), and more recently, development of endophenotypes for autism genetic studies.

Geri has co-edited or authored a number of books about autism spectrum disorder and brain development, including Autism Spectrum Disorders; Human Behavior, Learning, and the Developing Brain;and A Parent’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism. She has been widely published in academic journals.

From 2000-07, Geri founded and directed University of Washington Autism Center’s multi-disciplinary clinical services program, which is the largest of its kind in the northwestern United States. A strong advocate for families, Geri has testified before the U.S. Senate on behalf of individuals with autism and played a key role on the Washington State Autism Task Force.

Geri earned a Ph.D. in developmental and child clinical psychology from the University of Washington. After graduate school, she studied as a postdoctoral fellow at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA and, a year later, accepted a position as Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

In 1985, she returned to the University of Washington as a faculty member, where she continued her research on autism and practiced as a clinical psychologist specializing in autism until she accepted her current position at Autism Speaks.

She currently resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband and daughter. 

via autism speaks



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 workIn 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.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.


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