Autism Speaks, Will You Please Shut Up and Listen to Autistic People?

You’ve probably seen ads with sad slow piano music, listing statistics such as the chance of your child being a famous musician or a car racer. The chances are not very good. But the chance of your child being diagnosed with autism? 1 in 100 or 1 in 68? I’m not sure where they get these statistics but they’re designed to scare the beejeesus out of parents.

For ten years Autism Speaks has been scaring parents into thinking autism is the most terrifying thing ever. To them it’s as bad as cancer, AIDS, causes parents to divorce, devours your money, steals your child’s soul, causes parents to want to drive off a cliff with their autistic child.

This isn’t even close to the case, but they have the power to buy these scary, ominous ads or to have people like Alfonso Cuarón direct I am Autism, a video that portrays autism as some evil horrible thing that will destroy everything. Here is the entire poem. (Notice how this poem leaves out autistic people, because what do their feelings about autism matter?)

How does this help? Many autistic people see autism as something that is a part of them. When you portray it as a soul destroying demon of some sort it’s sending a message that being autistic is the worse thing ever. You already have parents using MMS, an industrial bleach in the hopes of destroying their child’s autism. But, instead it is destroying their intestines since they are forced to ingest it or have it inserted into their rectums. Children are forced to endure painful skin shocks at the JRC.

This nonsense is making people fear autism so much that less people are vaccinating, which means diseases like measles are coming back. Is autism really worse than dying of measles?

None of these folks even try to understand that when an autistic child is melting down in public it’s usually due to stress from nose, bright lights, smells. Most autistic people’s senses are tuned up to levels non-autistic people’s senses aren’t. So sounds you can ignore could be driving your child insane. Imagine listening to nails on a chalkboard for hours. It would be hell, wouldn’t it? This is how it’s like for most autistic children. Being overwhelmed by noises, smells and other sensory input. This is why a lot of autistic kids meltdown. No amount of ABA will help because it’s not a behaviour thing.

There are practical ways to help autistic children. Simple things like earplugs and sunglasses can help make things a lot easier. Warning a child several weeks before a big event can help avoid meltdowns. Preparing children for things like parties and events with practice can ease a lot of stress. And taking the child home when they are worn out from being social, or letting them have a quiet place to decompress. Even letting an autistic child stim instead of trying to stop them would do wonders.

But instead of offering practice solutions and simply listening to autistic people talk about how to cope, Autism Speaks would rather sell you doom and despair and then take the money you give them and spend most of it on more doom and despair and their salaries. Only 4% actually goes to the community. There’s so many things they could do with their money instead of promoting fear! Jobs for autistic adults, programs to help autistic adults help autistic kids.

But who gets to speak to the Pope? Not autistic people, Autism Speaks! They’re even ruining Grey’s Anatomy with their nonsense.

They need less power. The power should go to autistic people. The key to understanding autism isn’t in mice or rats or even genes, it’s listening to autistic people. Empowering non-verbal people with ways to communicate even if it’s not speech. The key is to realize, maybe we have been mislead about autism and need to learn more about it and learn not to fear it.

I Hate People First Language

I hate people first language. I hate when I’m talking about some autistic issue such as the Judge Rotenberg Center shocking children or how just because a person is non-verbal doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent and someone interrupts to say, “Don’t say autistic person or autistic, say person or people with autism.”

Just don’t!

Don’t tell an autistic person what they can and can’t call themselves. It’s fine if you want to say you’re a person with autism but to me it sounds clunky. It does nothing to affirm the personhood of autistic people. Autism Speaks is fond of such language and I am NOT fond of them or their attitude about autism or autistic people.

Obviously person first language is not helping them to realize that autistic people are thinking, feeling human beings, so acting as if they break up families won’t crush their souls if they don’t have them, right?


I prefer autistic person because my autism is a part of me. So is my blackness. So is being a woman. Folks would not say I am a person with blackness or a person with womanness. It implies that somehow autism is a bad thing that must be separated from me even though how I view the world is through the lens of autism.

Though challenging the attitudes about autism and how people think about it is another huge challenge.

I am sorry to the people who like 50 shades but

This whole trend confuses me more than when I was a kid and people would eat such stinky candy. Everyone enjoyed these 10 cents worth of smelly sour power green string things.

Only thing was those smelly candies weren’t full of concepts that just ruin society. i don’t get it.

What is so attractive about Christian Grey?

And yes, I haven’t read the book. I read two chapter by chapter reviews of the first one and thought, how is this romantic?  How is this not terrifying? How the HELL is a guy like Christian Grey attractive when he’s my WORSE NIGHTMARE?!

A threatening man who stalks you, never takes no for an answer. Waves aside every boundary you try to put up. This just sounds like an episode of Law and Order SVU. And Benson would come in and beat the crap out of this guy, or Stabler would if he were still on the show. Or Criminal Minds where Reid and Morgan, who are WAY better men than Christian Grey would brandish a gun at the guy and lecture him about not stalking people.

Hotch would just talk to him all cool and deep and maybe shoot him. This shit isn’t romantic! Am I the crazy one here?

I really also hate the whole notion of, he’s broken, but I can fix him. No, you’re better off getting an old Victorian house full of ghosts. You’d be better off going to the haunted house in American Horror Story and fixing that up! At least you’d have cool stained glass windows and about 40 ghosts to talk to. Maybe you’d be a ghost too.

You will never fix a man who doesn’t want to be fixed or a woman.  You’re better off getting a bear from the woods and trying to turn him into a lap dog! I’d rather do that!

Stop romanticizing abusers and abusive behaviour! It’s not sexy. It’s not appealing. I don’t care if it’s a billionair buying me cars and computers I will not put up with such nonsense.

Also, one could say but it’s BDSM. But I know enough about that to know it’s based on trust and mutual consent. It’s not just all about what the dominate wants with the desires of the submissive being brushed aside.

I’m not anti-kink or erotica but I really have a hard time seeing someone controlling and scary as erotic.

I seriously need to start blogging more!

Especially in April when it’s Autism Misinformation Month and I will have to spend the entire month LECTURING people while Autism Speaks just sits there and spouts out more inaccuracies and everyone listens to everyone except autistic people.

And I have to not wear my favourite colour on purpose too.

How unfun.

But yes, I do not blog enough. I wish there was more time to write, practice piano, nerd and just play.

Write Everyday No Matter How Tired You Are

So I have one more day to go before the weekend and all I can think is, “Why isn’t it Friday yet?!”

I hate weekdays. I have no control over everything. I must cram myself in crowded trains and be touched by random people. I must work work work.

But I’d like to enjoy making money. Are there people who do that? Who have fun while getting cash and go, I’d do this for free, I love it so much? I already spend most of the day making up stories. It would be nice to be paid for that. It would be nice to have time to write, play music, study Japanese and learn all kinds of fascinating things.

Work is so time consuming. But one has no choice. You need $money$

A Rant Before I Play a Pointless Game

If I have to argue with one more person about not hitting kids, I don’t know what I will do.

The thing is, kids were not angels back in the day when you could legally wail on your kids. 90% of parents already spank and kids still get into trouble. It’s probably less effective to hit kids and it can have side effects people don’t really think about.

Spanking is hitting. Even if it’s a swat on the behind. You can’t legally do this to adults without their consent, you can’t hit strangers on their behind, yet it’s OK to hit kids?

This will never be right to me. I’m sorry, but it won’t be. There has to be better ways to teach and guide children without pain.

Urg. I am tired but I must write SOMETHING once a day

But I’m so tired from working for hours.

Maybe I could rant about how EA games is extremely annoying and makes me feel very cross. Their games are full of irritating bugs! I hate that.

Grah. So tired. I must wake up at the butt crack of down. Mostly I want to rant and rave about all the things that go on in my brain. And there’s a lot of things. I will try tomorrow because I’ll have more energy then.

Who am I trying to kid? Work is long. The time moves so slowly.