Autism Speaks : The Time Is Now To Help Clean Up Your Mess22 min read

Autism Speaks, help clean up your mess!

The time is now to demand that Autism Speaks show repentance and pay reparations for the outbreaks and deaths from formerly eradicated diseases such as measles, pertussis, mumps and polio.

Autism Speaks: It’s also time roll up your sleeves, pony up the funding and help Autistic activists put an end to biomedical abuse of Autistic children and vulnerable adults. Time to end the ‘healing and recovery’ quackery the antivaxxer movement created.

For years Autism Speaks has said, suggested and promoted the concern about a link between vaccines and the “epidemic” of the Autism population increasing at what seemed a substantial rate.

The vaccine-autism theory was promoted, marketed and used to generate panic about Autism worldwide. Autism Speaks fear-marketed with documentaries, books, billboards, advertising, public service announcements and other marketing campaigns. Co-founder Suzanne Wright touted that the “Autism Epidemic” was a burden the world could not afford, and something had to be done to eradicate it.

Many parents were led to believe their Autistic children were “vaccine-injured” and needed to see special doctors for “healing and recovery.” These parents were taught to not trust their regular pediatricians (they were part of the conspiracy with “Big Pharma”), and to seek non-traditional doctors that were better to treat and ‘heal’ their Autistic child.

Due to the false fears generated over vaccines causing autism, many parents worldwide decided to refuse vaccinations for their children. Parents were told measles wasn’t that big of a deal and natural immunity would protect their tiny loved ones. Due to those fears, vaccination rates worldwide dropped and prompted the recent outbreaks of preventable illness.


Autism Speaks Help Clean Up Your Mess, And Help End Preventable Illness Epidemics!

Bob Wright, Co-Founder Of Autism Speaks, On Battle Against The Disease | TODAY

Autism Speaks changed their tune on vaccines in the public eye after the measles outbreak at Disneyland in 2015. Bob Wright spoke about those changes of opinion in 2016 in an interview, but continued to cast suspicion on vaccines possibly harming some and ultimately hedging his bets around the subject.

In 2016, the misinformation push can still be seen. Check out the title of the NBC video:

Bob Wright, Co-Founder Of Autism Speaks, On Battle Against The Disease | TODAY. (Mar 29, 2016)

The problem? Autism is not a disease to be battled and conquered. It is considered a developmental disability. It is a neurological difference in brain wiring. Cancer is a disease. Autism is not.


Not long afterwards Wright’s buddy, Robert De Niro, was interviewed on the same NBC show about the propaganda film ‘Vaxxed.” (Apr 13, 2016)

 

De Niro simply re-iterated the original points on the vaccine-autism connection quackery and prompted suspicion on the well-worn FDA/ Big Pharma conspiracy theory. Of course, De Niro took the stance of vaccine hesitancy, not against vaccines per se, before he regurgitated the well-worn and debunked Wakefield quackery.


 

Autism Speaks created a culture, identity and their own version of the ‘autism community.’ They even encouraged parents to assume their child’s identity with labels like “Autism Mom” and “Autism Dad.”

NBC’s “The Today Show” is known to march out the tragedy narrative on Autism during the Autism Speaks designated “Autism Awareness Month” in April.

Historically, they promote parents who follow the Autism Speaks party line. Kate Swenson, parent vlogger of an autistic, is a recent darling that’s rocketed her online popularity with their support.

Sadly, all of this was done at the expense of the Autistic community and people — who had already been in a fight for civil and human rights for decades.

Autism Speaks used their position and power to drown out Autistic people’s voices and choices – and until recently – maintained a monopoly on news and media pertaining to Autism.


 

Vaccination rates have now dropped to a point that those preventable illnesses have made a comeback from their eradicated status. Outbreaks of measles, mumps and other preventable diseases dominate today’s media headlines.

Many parents and loved ones in Samoa are preparing small caskets for funerals instead of participating in usual holiday festivities and cheer with their children. They learned that measles wasn’t as harmless antivaxxers made it out to be. Measles can kill. Samoa alone has lost 78 people due to the recent measles outbreak. Most of the deaths were children under the age of four.

To compound matters, donations generated to ‘battle the Autism epidemic’ were lost to the local community, never to return. While the money flowed out to fund a cure … quality of life for Autistics who lived today weren’t addressed, anticipated or even expected to be required.

Why? Well, if Autism was just a word in history books 20-years from the launch of Autism Speaks, perhaps the board members felt there’d just be no need for it. Regardless, Autistic people do exist and live today. Autistic babies are still born everyday, and yet, there’s still no real understanding of our life developmental milestones, aging expectations, or even quality of life supports.

Autistics today are faced with suicide being our #1 cause of early death. Homelessness, incarceration as care, poverty, abuse and murder are overwhelming issues for the Autistic community as well.

Most non-Autistic parents of Autistics are woefully unprepared for how different their Autistic might be from themselves beyond childhood. Autistic adults socialize differently than neurotypical adults and this includes differences in friendships, life partners and family structure.

Most parents of Autistic children aren’t aware that 70% of the Autistic population doesn’t identify as heterosexual — compared to the Neurotypical population of 10%.

They aren’t familiar with other basic facts too … like the Autistic population also has a far higher percentage of people who are non-binary and transgender.

And, depending on region, studies have shown Autistic people make up 10 – 60% of the homeless population.

Autistic people are very likely to suffer an intense amount of abuse over their lifetime. Everyday there are headlines about abuse of Autistics in schools, group homes, institutions, in public, and at home. Abusers can be anyone from strangers, bus drivers, teachers, aides to even parents and caregivers.

It’s not uncommon to see news headlines and photos of an Autistic child in handcuffs being led by police off of an elementary school campus.

Death by restraints and seclusion practices aren’t uncommon either. Videos of abuse are now popping up on social media sites everywhere, and exposing the consistent horrors that were hidden before today’s video captures documented these actions.

The real needs of the Autistic community have yet to be addressed. This is a failure of Autism Speaks and their board members. It’s only now that some of these issues and needs are being acknowledged by the organization.

So after all these years, why is Autism Speaks only now re-focusing their marketed message to address the life span of Autistics, inclusion and self-advocacy?

The answer: Autistic activists

Of course, Autism Speaks won’t admit this, but it’s Autistic activists and allies that are generating pressure for truth and genuine support that’s causing Autism Speaks to do better, or at least causing them present the image that they are being more inclusive.

Autistic people are the world’s largest minority group. It’s taken over 30 years for autistic activists protesting organizations that silence Autistic people and use fear-based marketing, especially Autism Speaks, that harms Autistic personhood and community. It’s taken over 40,000 Autistics networked through the Autistic Cooperative and other networks, in the past two years to make this happen.

Autistic people are starting to be seen in print, on the news, on talk shows and more. This is a direct result of Autistic people working together worldwide to fight the misinformation, harm, bullying, inconsistencies and the outright lies of Autism Speaks, their board members and their mascots.

Now that Autistics are connected, Autism Speaks can’t silence us anymore. Autistics, with our real allies, are stronger together, and we’re just getting started. So it looks like Autism Speaks is now adhering to the adage: If you can’t beat them, join them.

Well, that is if you only look at Autism Speaks’ slick marketing and lip service events. Scratch beyond the surface, and Autism Speaks’ show of ‘inclusion revolution’ is just a ruse.

Yes, Autism Speaks is using words like inclusion, acceptance, and self-advocacy. They’ve even posted polls to entertain person first language vs identify first language. They’ve asked the question of their ‘autism community’ and, and in a huge show of disrespect, swept the Autistic communities identity first language under the rug.

At this time, only Autism Speaks-selected token Autistics are being given a platform and voice in their ‘inclusion’ attempts. It’s these Autistics that Autism Speaks powers with their money and influence. These are the Autistics being showed to the world as proof Autism Speaks has changed. Again it’s a perception game, and a very strategic one.

You see, these are the Autistics being used to overwrite the Autistic community’s voice and re-amp the Autism Speaks ‘Autism Parent’ community. These Autistics are known to parrot out what ‘Autism Parents’ want to hear and stick to the Autism Speaks party line.

Autism Speaks, and some other organizations, are using these Autistics against the whole community with slogans like “Not all Autistics believe like you” to replace the “Not like my Autistic child” deflection.

This is an attempt to divide the Autistic community solidarity, de-power our community voice and create yet another wave of hate and misunderstanding against us as a people.

Of course, right after, Autism Speaks will ask for that all mighty donation to continue to help finding solutions for Autistics. You see, that’s what their fight is really about: money and controlling where the money is granted.

So on the surface it looks good, but Autism Speaks hasn’t really changed. They’re sticking to the usual tactics using mascots and celebrity influencers to continue to divide, disparage and minimize Autistic people and community on public and social media platforms.

This tactic has been fabulous at keeping Autism Speaks looking pristine, while their community thugs do the dirty work and take the heat. (Yes, Captain Broflakes & HitMan … talkin about you.)

So sure, the new ‘inclusion’ approach of Autism Speaks looks good, but it’s merely marketing a wolf in a blue sheepskin puzzle-piece printed jacket to maintain the money flow and their power status.


Mercury Mafia = Antivaxxers = The Bleach Cult

The issues with vaccinations for Autistic children doesn’t end with the conspiracy of big pharma and mainstream pediatricians lying for a profit. Oh no, it gets far more appalling for the children of these gaslighted parents.

The antivaxxer parents who believe their Autistic child was harmed by the toxins in the vaccines have a special biomedical health approach to ‘heal and recover’ them back to health. These treatments are really full-blown quackery practices and products that are recommended only by specially trained doctors. These doctors were originally known as DAN! doctors – DAN! stands for Defeat Autism Now.

Biomedical alternative ‘cures’ can include parents giving their children treatments to reduce their autism traits via chelation, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, ionic foot baths, Miracle Mineral Solution (aka industrial strength bleach), turpentine and more (even including powdered parrot head in some areas).

It was estimated that as of 2009, 75% of diagnosed Autistic children had been subjected to biomedical therapies.


Katie Wright on Oprah

One of the loudest, and most vicious, proponents of vaccine-injury over the years is Bob and Suzanne Wright’s daughter, Katie Wright. She is the mother of their grandson that launched their interest in Autism advocacy.

The Wright family had a fallout over the research direction of Autism in 2007, and where dollars should be granted.

Autism Speaks publicly separated ways from Katie Wright, famous for her activities with the “Mercury Mafia,” and a prominent person in JB Handley and Jenny McCarthy‘s infamous charity: Generation Rescue.

Katie Wright followed the notorious Andrew Wakefield’s debunked theory on vaccines, and even had him, and other DAN! doctors, treat her son. In a 2007 interview with David Kirby, Katie discusses weekly chelation treatments and their supposed success in recovering her son from autism.

These pseudoscience applications have been known to harm and kill Autistic children.

In the same interview, Katie spoke about the family fallout and the public separation from Autism Speaks:

“I’m here speaking as a parent. I’m not a representative of the organization (Autism Speaks), and I don’t have to answer to anybody.”

Katie Wright



While Autism Speaks pushed out Bob Wright’s daughter, it continued to quietly fund research into environmental causes of autism, including vaccines. They also worked with others who shared the same theory.

This prompted Alison Singer, Executive Vice President of Autism Speaks and former NBC exec, to resign with an email to Bob and Suzanne Wright:

“I’ve concluded that as a matter of personal conscience, I cannot vote in favor of dedicating more funds to vaccine research that has already been undertaken and which I and many others find conclusive,” her message read. “I feel compelled to offer my resignation.”

Alison Singer

Alison Singer went on to create her own Autism charity, Autism Science Foundation.

From 2007 to 2011, Autism Speaks spent minimum $2.5 million on research devoted to environmental causes.

Katie Wright told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2009 that her father “believes there is a place for genetic research, but he realizes the dire need to finance the environmental research because that is what affects our children now.”


The fears over vaccines started in 1998 when Andrew Wakefield published the possibility of a link between a novel form of bowel disease, autism, and the MMR vaccine in The Lancet.

Stated On Wikipedia:

At the time of his MMR research study, Wakefield was senior lecturer and honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (from 2008, UCL Medical School).

He resigned in 2001,[37] by “mutual agreement and was made a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists”,[38] and moved to the US in 2001[39] (or 2004, by another account[38]).

He was reportedly asked to leave the Royal Free Hospital after refusing a request to validate his 1998 Lancet paper with a controlled study.[21]


 

Wakefield’s conflict of interest and bogus claims were exposed by reporter, Brian Deer.


Continued from Wikipedia:

Wakefield took up residence in the US, He lives in the US where he has a following, including prominent celebrity anti-vaccinationist Jenny McCarthy,[42] who wrote the foreword for Wakefield’s autobiography, Callous Disregard.

She has a son with autism-like symptoms that she is convinced were caused by the MMR vaccine.[25][43] According to Brian Deer, as of 2011, he lives near Austin with his family


In 2010, Wakefield was found to be a liar and fraud by The British General Medical Council (GMC), and the The Lancet report was retracted. The UK banned him from practicing medicine. Wakefield is not licensed to practice medicine in the US.

The falsehood of Wakefield’s work didn’t deter his fan base. It only increased their shouts of Big Pharma and Conspiracy. In response to the uproar, JB Handley doubled-down while speaking to a reporter.

“To our community, Andrew Wakefield is Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ rolled up into one.”

says J. B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue


To make matters worse, Autism Speaks valued its board members’ opinions over the facts presented by their scientists.

 

John Elder Robison

In a recent article, John Elder Robison said, “One source of frustration that caused several people to leave Autism Speaks was the fact that the scientists don’t actually have the final say in what research is funded.”

 

“At the time, Mr. Wright and the organization’s executive board had the final say, and some members of the executive board have held anti-vax viewpoints, and some may hold such viewpoints today. I don’t know.”


Bob and Suzanne Wright’s wealth and power gave them open access to influence world leaders and big business people, including Donald Trump, with their own opinions on the ‘autism epidemic.’

In 2012, when a reporter asked Trump for his thoughts on the rising prevalence of autism, Trump referred to the Wrights by name:

“Well, I’ve been very much involved in it over the years. I have some great friends, Bob and Suzanne Wright, who used to head up NBC, as you remember, and they’ve really devoted their life to autism.

“They’ve had a serious event take place in their family, and they’re fantastic people, and I’ve helped them over the years, and we’ve had fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago and other places, and I’ve gotten to be pretty familiar with the subject.

“And, you know, I have a theory, and it’s a theory that some people believe in, and that’s the vaccinations.”


Autism Speaks Is Not Just A Charity

Autism Speaks isn’t just a charity to help Autistic kids. It is one of the largest private backers of autism research in the United States.

To create the organization, Bob Wright did what he’s known for, mergers and acquisitions, and merged the Autism Coalition for Research and Education (ACRE), the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN) into Autism Speaks.

With that merger, Autism Speaks became the world’s strongest voice and influence in all matters related to Autism and Autistic people. And they did this without including Autistic people, Autistic community, Autistic history or Autistic culture.



Incredible donations were received to launch this project. Bernie Marcus (Home Depot) alone gave $25 million to the organization. Jon Sheestack, $10 million. That’s just the beginning of big money funding Autism Speaks advocacy.

Autism Speaks has yet to be truly transparent about their history, activities, or show real redemption about the vaccine tragedy happening today. The organization has yet to take responsibility of the mess they helped fund, much less actively help staunch the tragedy of outbreaks, illness and death their ideology prompted.

[Sorry, Bob Wright double-speaking through gritted teeth on the Today Show in 2016, followed up the next month by Robert DeNiro and the propaganda piece, “Vaxxed,” doesn’t count.]

Right now, the fight for vaccines is by a few dedicated doctors, researchers, scientists, health advocates and Autistic activists. That’s it.

There are even less activists fighting for the health and safety of Autistic children being treated with antivaxxers’ cures for vaccine-injury with harmful and potentially fatal quack therapies.


Autistic activists and allies have been fighting the harm of Autism Speaks ideology and misinformation since it launched.

Many have dedicated their life’s work human and civil rights for Autistic people, and have battled the big blue machine over bad stereotypes, falsehoods, and protested the eugenics push for ‘the cure.’

Many Autistics are fighting for the future of Autistic children born today. The goal is to prevent the harm caused by Autism Speaks’ monopoly on Autistic healthcare, support and services — as designated by their founder and board members.

Autism Speaks has actively worked to silence, minimize or dehumanize Autistic activists over the years. Activists have been trying to halt the lies about the vaccine-autism link misinformation spread for as long as the theory has been presented. Autistic adults, right now, are also fighting to halt the abuse with dangerous biomedical treatments happening to Autistic children, and vulnerable Autistic adults, today.

For Autistic children of Antivaxxers it’s brutal. The parents believe their children are ‘vaccine-injured’ and turn to biomedical pseudoscience treatments that have resulted in harm, illness and death.

These parents are taught by charlatans that the signs of physical and medical need are really signs the child is recovering from Autism. This prevents these parents from seeking actual medical treatment for their harmed children.

Kerri Rivera, once a Generation Rescue Angel, is infamous for her peddling of bleach, also known as Miracle Mineral Solution (mms). This treatment is applied in an enema to children to remove the “Autism parasites” from vaccine-injured children. Other snake oil salespeople claim their products reduce the toxic overload of vaccines in an Autistic child’s brain and ‘recover and heal’ them. Some parents go so far as to catch these ‘Autism Parasites’ in photos and then collect them in jars to display like trophies.

What’s really happening? The parasites are actually the stripped innards of an Autistic child being excreted. These are then photographed and collected in jars and later shown to fellow parasite hunters.


Bleacher Hunters = Autistic Activists & Ally Activists

For many years, Autistic activists, and allies, have been on the front-line of the Autism Wars online battling the secret groups created by antivaxxers peddling ‘cures.’ This group of antivaxxers utilizing quack theory and toxic cures has become known as the BleachCult. This is an ugly fight that often becomes dangerous for activists.

Image result for senator richard pan
Senator Richard Pan

The type of viciousness Autistic activists have often encountered has now been documented in news reports. Antivaxxers are targeting politicians, doctors, researchers, scientists and others to the point body guards are required. Targets have inclued Senator Richard Pan, Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Paul Offit.

Melissa Eaton

You can see the work of American Autistic activist, Amanda Seigler, and ally, Melissa Eaton, on a recent Dr. Oz episode and in many news articles battling the harm and reporting this type of abuse.

These activists work with world renowned Autistics Emma Dalmayne (UK) and Fiona O’Leary (IE), plus hundreds more who choose to remain anonymous.

The Bleacher Hunters’ activism has been successful in getting the quack propaganda banned from Amazon, Ebay and other merchandise sites. Also, their work has been successful in removing bleach peddlers from Facebook, YouTube, and many other social media platforms.

These activists are also responsible for prompting the FDA to release the warning on MMS again.

Facebook and other platforms have also responded with creating community guidelines to banish antivaxxer quackery, and created a special ‘report user’ category specific to MMS.

None of the activists are paid for their work. Poverty is a challenge for many of us.

Just last week, in an Ireland court, Fiona O’Leary won a victory when an employee of the Church of Scientology was convicted on criminal charges of harassing O’Leary. She prevailed against him without the support of a lawyer, while the defendant had the support of the Church of Scientology and its lawyers.



Autism Speaks created a monopoly on all matters related to Autism and Autistic people, our healthcare, and more.

The time is now to end the measles epidemic.

Autism Speaks: the time is now to actively and aggressively tell the truth about vaccines. Support a truthful science-backed campaign to combat the misinformation that has caused so many to become ill and die from preventable illness. Perhaps you can recruit a few of those celebrity friends to help out.

Autism Speaks: the time is now to say NO to harming Autistic children with misinformation and toxic cures.

The time is now to use your power to draft and steamroll legislation to ban these cures in the United States.

The time is now to treat Autistics as a people, not a disease. After all, we are the largest minority group on the planet.

Autism Speaks: the time is now to help clean up the mess you instigated.

These actions, while not absolving you of responsibility for your treatment of Autistics in the past, would be an honest first step toward fostering good will in the Autistic community, and promoting actual inclusion, care, services and support for Autistics. Put your money where your mouth is.

Autism Speaks: can you hear me? Where are you now?

Autistically,

Eve Reiland

Founder of InternationalBadassActivists.org

5 Comments

  1. Thank you for the badass overview. Just dx’ed 3 years ago at 63. Had no freaking clue of the complex history behind the #AutismWars on social media. In particular, the right-wing psychofascism of dark autism network. Thanks again.


  2. Hey. Don’t post Alison Singer as anything resembling a good source. Her ‘apology’ for talking about killing herself and her child… wasn’t apologetic enough. It includes lots of language about how every parent of an autistic or disabled child thinks about murder-suicide, so it’s fine for her to have said that. I hope my mother and tons of NT mothers of autistic children aren’t lying when they say that isn’t something they ever think, but even if they are, even if every NT parent thinks that, keep it your damn selves. Lie to your children. Be ashamed of ever thinking, even momentarily, that the best thing you can do for your child is kill them. Seek counseling and feel shame and disgust with yourself for considering murder. Do not tell the world, do not popularize the issue, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not cite Alison Singer as anything but a disgrace.



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