By Rebecca Munday, Editor
Autism Speaks U is a scholar group that has been on campus for about seven years and the primary functions of the group are consciousness, fundraising for Autism Speaks, and advocacy, in keeping with their President, Morgan Evans.
Nonetheless, two college students on the autism spectrum on the Armstrong campus, Brittany Clayboss, a junior within the music program and Nora Prepare dinner, a senior, who’s double majoring in Writing and Linguistics and Girls’s, Gender, and Sexuality Research, say that Autism Speaks U is extra targeted on bringing consciousness and fundraising for a company that harms, moderately than helps people with autism themselves.
“They’re claiming to help us, but received’t hearken to us. They’re blindly elevating cash for a dangerous group and ignoring autistic voices,” Clayboss mentioned.
After seeing flyers for the group round campus, Clayboss went to their first open assembly to see in the event that they had been conscious of Autism Speaks’ stance on autism and ask what they had been doing with the group.
The official mission assertion of Autism Speaks U through their web site reads, “Autism Speaks is devoted to selling options, throughout the spectrum and all through the lifespan, for the wants of people with autism and their households. We do that via advocacy and help; rising understanding and acceptance of individuals with autism; and advancing analysis into causes and higher interventions for autism spectrum dysfunction and associated circumstances.”
“I believe the issue with advocating for a remedy is the concept one thing is unsuitable with us,” Clayboss mentioned. “We’re simply dwelling a special life.”
But Autism Speaks U ignored the scholars issues.
They acted as in the event that they had been receptive, however then continued to satisfy and settle for membership dues…They didn’t have a solution to the place the cash goes,” Clayboss mentioned.
“There may be loads of proof that they’re nonetheless supporting poisonous stuff,” Clayboss mentioned.
As not too long ago as 2018, they had been supporting a middle in Michigan doing shock remedy on Autistic people,” Prepare dinner mentioned.
After Clayboss offered proof to the chapter that they’re nonetheless collaborating in dangerous practices for the autistic neighborhood, Autism Speaks U didn’t reply.
Moreover, Prepare dinner and Clayboss raised issues about the best way Autism Speaks raises consciousness. There are quite a lot of issues to deliver consciousness to within the autistic neighborhood and Autism Speaks U just isn’t being particular sufficient, in keeping with Prepare dinner. “What do you imply consciousness? Consciousness about what?” Prepare dinner mentioned.
“The problem is [that] it’s persevering with this path of ‘About Us With out Us’. It’s perpetuating the parable that we aren’t able to self-advocacy,” Prepare dinner mentioned. Just one board member of Autism Speaks is on the autism spectrum.
Due to what Autism Speaks advocates for, individuals within the autistic neighborhood in opposition to Autism Speaks have began to exchange the “S” in Speaks with a $ and put set off and content material warnings on the posts about Autism $peaks.
“Within the autistic neighborhood, we think about it a hate group as a result of when you could have a gaggle who has actively harmed individuals such as you and needs to eradicate you and your way of life, we don’t have one other time period for it,” Prepare dinner mentioned.
“It’s very hurtful to know that one thing that has made my life a lot harder is getting used for revenue,” Clayboss mentioned.
Prepare dinner additionally emphasizes the significance of organizations asking “How can we assist?” after which really listening for the reply.
Slightly than persevering with to help Autism Speaks, Prepare dinner suggests that individuals help the Autism Self-Advocacy Community that promotes dwelling with autism and has a whole board of people with autism.
College students can go to the Autism Self Advocacy Network web site to be taught extra about what they do, become involved, and discover sources for people with Autism.