Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Autism Speaks and Walmart

Trigger Warning: Autism Speaks hiding intentions, cure

I know, I know. I'm late to the talk about this. Executive functioning, remember? That is the last thing I talked about. So, here goes:
They are selling school supplies in Walmart. 6% goes to them, and on the packages they list that they are a non-profit devoted to curing autism. On their website, they edited out the part of the package that says that.
Autistic people are up in arms over this. There is a petition on asking Walmart to stop selling the supplies. They probably won't listen, because hey, it's Walmart, but we can try. (Walmart is evil, last I checked, and while most of the parents who are at lower levels in Autism Speaks have good intentions, I'd be quite happy to call the organization itself evil, so they probably get along great.)
There are critics of Autism Speaks even among those who do want a cure for autism -- whether or not one wants a cure for autism, there is not a cure now, and much of that money could be going to much better activities, such as research on pragmatic topics and issues that affect Autistic people now, or providing services and supports for Autistic children, youth, and adults.
-Autistic Hoya (She does not support a cure or Autism Speaks, just so we're clear.)

And as for me, I don't want a cure in the world we live in today. These are my thoughts on a cure. Basically, if there were to legitimately be no pressure to become neurotypical, if being autistic were actually OK, if it were a choice a person made for themself and only themself,  with informed consent, I doubt there would be many autistics who chose to take a cure, but in that world? If it existed, and they chose it, I would shake their hands and wish them luck. In the world we actually live in, I expect that the cure would be forcibly used on children, would be forcibly used on anyone who receives services, and for any portions of the autistic community who technically were getting it only under informed consent, choosing not to would be used as a sign of incompetence, at which point it would be forced. That means any organization that states finding a cure as a mission is inherently not trusted.
Also, this: Anti-Autism Speaks
Essentially, Autism Speaks is not good for autistic people. They only use autistics who ever did anything cool in their scary numbers and on the occasion that said autistic supports them. If an autistic person dislikes them, they are clearly high functioning. (False, by the way. Here and here are two autistic people who need extensive support and don't speak, but still have major issues with Autism Speaks. Not tokens either. It's pretty common.)
The argument that Autism Speaks qualifies as a hate group isn't that hard to make. I would be quite happy if donating to them carried that same stigma that donating to the KKK carries. They do want to eliminate autism from the gene pool, after all, and I am autistic.Is it surprising that I don't like them?
Given all the issues with Autism Speaks, I think it is safe to say that whatever Walmart might think about what it's doing (they probably think they are doing something great for those less fortunate,) the right thing for them to do would be to take the Autism Speaks school supplies off the shelves. The right thing for parents buying school supplies for their kids to do would be to not buy the Autism Speaks school supplies. If you want to give to an autism charity, give to one that actually helps autistic people, not to Autism Speaks.
So, Walmart. Here's a heads up: I won't be shopping with you until the Autism Speaks supplies are gone from your store. I don't know if I can really afford to do that, but I would rather go without whatever it is I was going to get with you than give money to a corporation that supports Autism Speaks. I encourage everyone who cares about autistic people do make the same boycott if they can afford to.

1 comment:

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