I…I-I-I…I’m sorry, I must have misheard you. Because you did NOT just call Autism an EPIDEMIC…oh wait…you DID?
See, THIS is the type of damaging rhetoric Autism Speaks uses. I want to make something perfectly clear. We are NOT a disease. We are NOT broken. We are human beings, the same as everyone else. We do NOT need a cure. We don’t need people like Autism Speaks trying to “cure” us. Because as I said, we are NOT broken. I am sick of hearing people talking about finding a CURE. Because you can’t cure something that isn’t a disease.
This is a clear example of what Autism Speaks thinks of us. They think we are diseased. They think we’re a spreading epidemic that needs to be eradicated. I know how they would respond. “Oh, we don’t want to eradicate you, just get rid of your Autism, that’s all”. Well, let me tell you something. I’m not ashamed of my Autism. I’m proud of it. It makes me who I am. Yeah, there are negatives to it, but guess what? There are negatives to everything! I don’t want to destroy the good aspects of my personality and the many other good and unique things about myself just to get rid of the few negatives. Instead, how about you help me overcome those negatives so I can do an even better job than I already do at showing off the positives? “Curing” Autism won’t help us. It’ll turn us into something we’re not. It’ll make us fit what society deems normal. Hammering the nail that sticks up as they say. That’s all they care about. Making us “normal”.
If Autism Speaks TRULY cared about Autistics, they’d spend more of the money they use creating demeaning and dehumanizing media about us to provide equipment for those among us who can’t speak. They’d give us a voice. They wouldn’t give their executive board an annual salary of over four-hundred thousand dollars.
If Autism Speaks cared, they would speak up and call out the discrimination we suffer on a daily basis. They would call out school districts that refuse to educate us the way we deserve to be educated. They would put an end to hospitals denying us life-saving organ transplants because they’ve decided our quality of life isn’t worth saving. Instead, their biggest news stories are about which corporations are “going blue” and giving them money.
That’s all we are to Autism Speaks. A commodity. A source of money. Something they can twist into looking like a terrible demon with dehumanizing videos and language, to scare people into giving them money so they can make the problem go away. Only for them to put most of the money into media, their own pockets, and bullshit research that won’t benefit us. This is the problem with Autism Speaks, and our society. This is why we need change. This is why we can’t sit around and let these bastards try to speak for us.
Autism Speaks, I think I speak for more Autistics than you do when I say that you can kindly shove off and leave us alone. You can stop using us as pity-bait, as a tool for your scaremongering. You can stop calling us diseased and talking about curing us. You can stop pretending to care when you make it abundantly clear that you don’t. You can stop dehumanizing us. You can just stop.