Autism Speaks: The 21st Century Nazi Party

In early 2005, Bob and Suzanne Wright founded Autism Speaks with the intention of giving autistic people all across the spectrum a better quality of life. I was 11 years old and in the middle of 4th Grade when I first heard about this organization, and I thought that they were going to help me and my kind teach neurotypical people to accept us as we are so that we can live in harmony. Now, ten years later, we are in the middle of Autism Awareness Month, which should be rewritten as Autism ACCEPTANCE Month because guess what. All Autism Speaks wants to do is “cure” autism by wiping us off the face of the earth.

I know it sounds very dramatic–I can be quite the drama queen at times–but allow me to explain what’s going on here.

For the past decade, Autism Speaks has been advertising propaganda in which they claim autism is a “growing health crisis”; autism is a disease that “spreads faster than diabetes, cancer and AIDS combined”; and that children with autism and their families “are alive but they’re not living.”

What’s more, Autism Speaks calls on every country in the world to Light It Up Blue–from the Empire State Building in New York to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Their so-called autism awareness campaign makes it all the more reason for me to call Autism Speaks the Nazi Party of the 21st century. All they’ve been doing is adding more fuel to the fire of persecution that we thought we’d leave behind after graduating public school, where the bullying of autistic students is rampant simply for being lions who don’t concern themselves with the opinion of the sheep–in other words, not acting or behaving the same way as everyone else.

Even worse, Autism Speaks had famous celebrities sponsor their campaigns–Toni Braxton, Tommy Hilfiger… Shit, they even dubbed Yoko Ono, widow of “Imagine” singer John Lennon, their Global Autism Ambassador! Need I mention that, in 2009, they got future Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón to create the ever controversial short I Am Autism? In the short film, a narrator personified as the Grim Reaper gives the audience a negative portrayal of what life is like for children and families with autism, with statements such as “If you’re happily married, I will make sure your marriage fails,” “Your neighbors are happier to pretend I don’t exist–of course, until it’s their child,” and “I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams,” among other awful things.

So, now that I got those facts out, I got a few things I want to say to Suzanne Wright, the female Nazi leader of Autism Speaks:

First, autism is NOT a growing epidemic, obesity is.

Second, autism is not as terrible as diabetes, cancer and AIDS, the real diseases that require the most medical attention.

Third, autistic people like myself and their families are alive and well and living in Paris, London, Tokyo, Miami, the world over.

Lastly, I lived my entire life believing that autism is a curse. Now I see that the only thing that makes autism a curse is people like you who endlessly persecute me and everyone else on the spectrum with your damn propaganda brainwashing neurotypicals into thinking that we should be dead in order to be relieved of our “disease.” Autism is a gift that makes whoever it chooses to use it to their advantage to achieve greatness on their own terms. Here’s a list of famous autistics (confirmed or debated) who are living proof of that statement:

– Satoshi Tajiri, game designer creator of the Pokémon series (which I’m an avid fan)

– Heather Kuzmich, contestant on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 9 (she still models but is now studying video game design)

–  Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University

– Daryl Hannah, actress

– John Elder Robison, author of Look Me In the Eye and engineer

The last person on this list, Robison, resigned from Autism Speaks in November 2013 after you published an op-ed piece in which you laid out your views of autism that were severely different from his. And for that, I applaud him for standing up for his own people.

We don’t need to be cured. All we need is ACCEPTANCE, not awareness along with persecution.

Thank you.

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4 thoughts on “Autism Speaks: The 21st Century Nazi Party

  1. Yes, you really are a drama queen. This isn’t about persecuting people, but addressing an issue that simply needs to tackled head-on, for the reality of the situation is that there is a considerable percentage of people with autism who, if given the chance to lead a happy, normal life, would jump at the chance.

    You say you have autism yourself; well, if this is the case then you should know how horrible it can be, and for all kinds of reasons. I have it myself, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I wish I did not. It has well and truly ruined my life. If the people at “Autism Speaks” are really searching for the causes of this condition, then I say “Go for it! Wipe this scourge from off the face of the Earth!”, because being constantly misunderstood, regarded as ‘rude’, never fitting in, always being rejected and ridiculed, living without hope for a better future, a family, a career (you know – the things that everyone else just takes for granted), having to rely on welfare – it just stinks! This is not living, this is just getting by as best one can under the circumstances.

    Accept the reality: we are handicapped. Autism and A.S. are mental disorders, like schizophrenia. It needs to be eliminated and, no, by “elimination” I do NOT mean the opening up of concentration camps for “Aspies”. I mean prevention, treatment and cure. Why is that so objectionable?

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    1. [“One-Winged Angel (Kingdom Hearts II Version)” plays in the background]

      Let me make this extremely clear to you:

      I have Asperger’s syndrome and PDD-NOS, the latter which I found out while looking through my medical records one day. In elementary school, I had to mainstream from my special education class to a regular classroom setting until the 3rd Grade, when the school officials saw that I was smart enough to mingle with neurotypical students. When it came to math, however, I had to walk to a special ed classroom and get tutored by a teacher there and go back to the regular classroom until 5th Grade, when I did well on the subject to the point where I didn’t need to go to a special ed teacher for help anymore. Although I shined brightly in other subjects–English being my favorite–I still needed assistance with mathematics from middle school to college. I even had extra time on exams in accordance with my IEP (an acronym for individualized education plan, thank you very much).

      The only time I ever considered my autism to be a curse was when I got verbally bullied by some of the other kids for getting better grades than them, and for indulging in some pop culture franchises they deemed childish, such as the Sonic the Hedgehog video games. To make matters even worse, in 8th Grade, I was falsely accused of cheating on a math quiz, and every time someone called me a cheater I would lash out at them because they knew damn well that I’d never commit an act of academic dishonesty. Looking back at it now, the verbal punishment I received was a form of discrimination due to my having a higher IQ and enhanced vocabulary than others as part of my Asperger’s.

      The money that Autism Speaks raises through “charity walks” and advertising (basically propaganda) goes toward research that revolves around finding a way to eliminate autism and autistic people themselves, mostly through prenatal testing and abortion. Their advertising is propaganda because they speak of how much of a burden autistics are to society, including their families. John Elder Robison, the only autistic member on Autism Speaks’s science board, figured all of that out, and resigned from Autism Speaks because he didn’t sign up for the defamation and genocide of his own people.

      Autism may be a handicap, but we still have the same human rights and opportunities in life just like everybody else. Our autism makes us unique, and it doesn’t need to be eliminated at all. Otherwise, life wouldn’t be very interesting, would it?

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      1. I’m not here to start an argument with you, but honestly – how much of what you say here that you like about yourself (ex. high I.Q. and extensive vocabulary) can REALLY be attributed to Asperger’s Syndrome itself, and nothing else? Where is the causal connection, the evidence for it?

        I happen to be good at many things too, like geography, history, maths, physics, politics, economics – you name it. I do not, however, believe that any of my talents would go missing in action if, by some miracle, I were to wake up one morning to find I no longer had this condition. That’s the old, “Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Bill Gates are (or were) like us, and they were (or are) brilliant precisely because of their autism/A.S.” When people claim this they commit the ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ fallacy, among other things. “…because (fill in the blank) has autism, he/she is therefore a genius”. No, this does not logically follow. The physicist Richard P. Feynmann did not have autism, and neither did the mathematician John von Neumann, to list just two examples that immediately spring to mind.

        “Our autism makes us unique, and it doesn’t need to be eliminated at all”, you say, as though ‘being unique’ were, in and of itself, somehow virtuous. Yes, it makes us unique, all right. It makes us shy, introverted, clumsy, nervous, sensitive to certain sights and sounds, unable to relate to others, clueless in social situations, and (in my case anyway) unemployable. I would never claim that we don’t have certain rights (like the right to actually be here at all in the first place – I wouldn’t want to be euthanised), but even so I really do wish this problem would be solved, cured, and never seen again.

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      2. We don’t need to be cured of our autism. What we need is to learn how to cope with the condition as we figure out the ways of the neurotypical world. And being autistic doesn’t mean we’ll be unemployed for life. Employers are now beginning to see people on the spectrum as an asset to the workplace, not a deficit, due to impeccable precision skills.

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