Autism Speaks uses tactics that promote a fear of autism in order to scare people into donating to their organization. Unsurprisingly, they have pounced on the latest CDC prevalence data to promote their agenda – that autism is a public health crisis.
On their blog they have a guest post from none other than Dr. Bob Sears, a man responsible for spreading misinformation about vaccines endangering his patients and more. One of Dr. Sears’ patients was found to be the cause of a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego. Dr Sears, in line with Autism Speaks’ fear-based message, suggests that autism is increasing at a tremendous rate:
as a full-time practicing pediatrician, I’m having the “I’m worried your toddler may have autism” talk with parents almost every week now. It used to be a few times each year, when I started practicing back in 1998.
Let’s see what the CDC has to say about their figures:
I would just like to add that we recognize now that autism is a spectrum, so I think in the past we thought of children as being severely affected, meaning children with intellectual disability, children who were nonverbal, children with a host of co-occurring conditions, that was the picture of autism, I think, about ten years ago. Our understanding has evolved to the point that we understand now that there are children with higher IQs and children who perhaps are even not receiving special education services. So our understanding of autism has changed over time, and I think that our numbers may be reflective of some of that, as well.
Please note – I can’t speak for the CDC’s Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp regarding the above quote but I assume she did not intend to imply that all “severely affected” autistic children are intellectually disabled.
Autism is a developmental disability that has always been here and it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Let’s #lightituptrue this April and #boycottautismspeaks
Image description: Picture is a meme showing Inigo Montoya, a character from the movie The Princess Bride. Text reads: You keep saying 1 in 68. I do not think that stat means what you think it means.
Thanks to Gingerheaddad for letting us use his meme.
Light It Up True is a campaign running in April to counter the misinformation and outright lies spread by Autism Speaks. We will be sharing some truths about both autism and the largest so-called ‘autism charity’ in the United States.
This campaign is part of a larger one called Boycott Autism Speaks. Please go to boycottautismspeaks.com to find out more.