Autism Speaks has ZERO autistic people on its board or in any leadership, executive or advisory role. In addition, not only does it refuse to listen to autistics, it actively seeks to silence them.
Hardly surprising given that part of Autism Speaks’ goal is to eradicate autism. It turns out that when you listen to them, autistic people don’t in fact want to be eradicated.
It all got too much for John Elder Robison, who resigned his roles at Autism Speaks in November, 2013.
Many, many autistics have written about how problematic this is. There are more posts on this than you can shake a stick at in fact, but here’s just a few:
Autistic Hoya: Autism Speaks and Representation
Radical Neurodivergence Speaking: Autism Speaks: Shut Up and Listen (Autism Speaks quotes Neurodivergent K in its transition kit, incorrectly, out of context and without her permission and refused to do anything about it for years)
Judy Endow: J. Cole Writes Apology Letter to Autism Speaks
Yes, That Too: Erased, Silenced, Derailed
Image description: Picture shows the patio of a lakeside restaurant in London’s High Park. In the foreground are many white tables and chairs, all empty. Text reads: All the autistics on the Autism Speaks Board get together for lunch with the autistics in a leadership, executive or advisory role at Autism Speaks.
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.