Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Autism Speaks in Amer-Ree-Cah!

Autism Speaks seems to have accomplished the impossible, bringing together autism's "Jets and Sharks" (The "Curebies" and the "ND's") in a moment of agreement.

Here's another analogy for those of you who might not be familiar with 50 year old Broadway plays.... Think of observant Jews who keep kosher and observant Muslims who also do not eat pork. Two fairly disparate groups, yes? Autism Speaks is often considered a slab of ham wrapped in bacon smothered in sausage gravy by both groups.

Many within the autism world were astounded at the draconian measures Autism Speaks took against a young person on the autism spectrum for creating a parody website called "NT Speaks" that expressed her opinion of this powerful organization. ("NT" stands for Neurotypical, a description of someone who does not have autism or Asperger's.)

This young person has posted HERE that she was sued for last week for $90,000 for copyright infringement, lost revenue, and drawing away 1 million of the charity’s supporters. She also writes that Autism Speaks dropped the threat of a lawsuit when they learned her age HERE.
AS is a corporation. Like Coca Cola, Colgate Palmolive or Halliburton.


amanda said...

Again I ask for whom does "Autism Speak"?? Certainly not me and mine that's for sure. Strikes me they're in it for the money and nowt else. They're jumping on a band wagon, the current "big thing" for a fast buck. Just who do they think they are?

rant over.

kyra said...

jeez. they tried to SUE her? (shaking my head)

13 said...

I've been struggling to catch up on all of the acronym's and abbreviations. It has, however, made for fun confusion. Neuro-divergent, for example. A well-behaved swimmer would be a "diver gent". A bird that invents a mathematically precise set of movements for oars: a "new row logic gull." Oooh...a well behaved person on the spectrum who is new to swimming: a "neuro-divergent nouveau diver gent"

And...wait, I'm confused again.

amanda said...

thabk you 13 for explaining the intircacies of what the hell ND actually means!!

Drama Mama said...

WTF? What are they? Scientology? Freaking weird.

Kim Stagliano said...

Drama, that's pretty funny. They are truly a major corporation. In three years they are the Coca Cola of organizations. They are run by powerful, talented people, no doubt. And they've done a great job with awareness. And funding genetics research. I'd prefer to see some funding for real live people with autism currently residing on planet earth.... You?

GFCF Mommy said...

I had not heard about this until your post. Autism Speaks kind of comes off like The Church Lady on the old Saturday Night Live Shows, "oh, the sinner who defamed our corporate identity was on the spectrum? Never mind."

I'm not surprised though. My Walk Now team is doing a little fundraiser FOR Autism Speaks and we wanted to print their cute little blue puzzle piece on our giftbags. We were going to do it ourselves. We were told no. Possessive about things, aren't they! So we are using a rainbow instead.

I have a love-hate relationship with Autism Speaks. We got involved as "Walk Far for NAAR" walkers when it merged with AS. Like you said, they are great at raising awareness and $$$.

One thing I am happy they are doing, here in Florida they are trying to help us battle the insurance companies. As someone who has great insurance (for me and the spouse) but whose coverage has denied my son ST, OT, ABA coverage for years, I do think, if their high-priced lobbyists work, this will be one example of the good they can do for people with autism today.

I want to like them, I really do. But incidents like this one really make it hard.