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I’ve been a critic of Autism Speaks (AS) pretty much from the moment I cracked open the thick AS binder I was given at R’s diagnosis. I didn’t immediately know why reading AS’s First 100 Days After Diagnosis Kit left me feeling simultaneously paralyzed, patronized, and sick with dread, but it didn’t take me long to figure it out.
Good people have been working for change behind the scenes at AS for a long time, to no avail. This week’s AS Summit at George Washington University, which yet again fails to include Autistic people (but inexplicably includes the notorious Judge Rotenberg Center as an exhibitor at their resource fair!) and yesterday’s appalling letter from AS founder Suzanne Wright, are the last straw for many people. Even John Elder Robison resigned his AS position today.
If you support AS, you might want to examine the rising tide of criticism they’ve been getting, and consider re-directing your support to a more worthy organization, like The Autistic Self Advocacy Network. It will be interesting to see who else bails from AS after this week…