I believe it’s been about three or four months since Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright passed away. I have a very…I’ll say tightrope-like opinion of Autism Speaks. Before really looking into the organization, I supported it just as hard as many in the autism field do. I even helped organize a team at my previous job to participate in on of their walks.
As I started reading and speaking with more autistic adults, however, my views changed. I started seeing the true intentions behind the Light It Up blue campaigns and such…and I did not agree with it at all. I was never in favor of trying to “cure” autism, as I don’t look at it as a disorder that needs to be wiped out. They did, and so I quickly distanced myself and have not participated in any of their events since.
An amazing blogger that I follow, anonymouslyautistic, posted about the recent change of rhetoric that has surfaced on the Autism Speaks website. Apparently, they are no longer set on finding a so-called cure. I can’t help but feel that this has to do with a changing of the guard, so to speak. I checked the site out myself, and yes, they seem to be shifting focus. This could be good for everyone, but if and how Autism Speaks is accepted into the autism community is still in the air. Those who funded it for the sole purpose of finding a cure will probably withdrawal their money. They still have to mend the bridges with those they have severely affected with their words and previous stance. Like many, I am waiting to see how they move forward before putting any real support behind them.
Still…it’s a start.
Here is a link to anonymouslyautistic’s blog about it: Autism Speaks Changes Mission
And here is Autism Speaks’ About page with some of the new rhetoric: Autism Speaks