Monday, June 04, 2007
THIS IS A CHILD BEING THROWN UNDER THE BUS.
Statement from Bob and Suzanne Wright, Co-founders of Autism Speaks
"Katie Wright is not a spokesperson for Autism Speaks. She is our daughter and we love her very much. Many of Katie's personal views differ from ours and do not represent orreflect the ongoing mission of Autism Speaks. Her appearance with David Kirby was done without the knowledge or consent of Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is committed to finding the causes of and a cure for autism.
We are proud of our scientifically based research programs, including those established by NAAR and CAN, and will continue to pursue them. The members of our scientific advisory teams have impeccable credentials and we fully support them. There is no question that genetics plays the leading role in autism and that environmental triggers are key issues for many children. These areas, as well as biomedical treatments, need huge research support.
Autism Speaks merged with NAAR because it believes in and supports its scientific mission, methods, and advisory board. We are proud of the accomplishments of NAAR and grateful to the families and volunteers who created it. They are a tremendously valued part of Autism Speaks. We welcome input from volunteers and parents/guardians of children with autism of all ages, including adults with autism. We apologize to our valued volunteers who were led to believe otherwise by our daughter's statement." END.
Draw your own conclusions. Discuss. Play nicely.
The Wrights founded Autism Speaks because Katie's son has regressive autism. And now the doting Grandma who appears on TV with the teary, hound dog eyes appears to be saying "Hey, she has nothing to do with our multi-million dollar fund raising machine." I've met Suzanne. Her passion and concern is genuine. The tears are real. That's why I just don't understand this public statment. I'll be happy to hear from and blog about info from anyone who knows otherwise.
Suffice it to say, Autism Speaks has alienated many (all?) sectors of the actual autism world faster than a 30 second spot on NBC. I'm not talking about researchers who whack the AS pinata for funding dollars or pharmaceutical executives or politicians. I'm talking about those of us who live with autism 24/7, regardless of position on treatment, acceptance or any of the other variables associated with the diagnosis. People like Katie Wright Hildebrand. And Kim Stagliano.
It's almost impossible for me to believe that Autism Speaks has made so many missteps among the very community they were founded to help. Saddest of all, it appears to be money and politically motivated.