However this hashtag appears to have backfired on them a little as many individuals within the autism community are now using this hashtag to vent their disapproval and anger towards them.
So where do I stand? I’ll be honest, I don’t like Aurism Speaks, first fueled by what I can only call their propaganda video, I Am Autism, as shown below.
The video states:
“I am invisible to your children but if I can help it, I am invisible to you until its too late. I know where you live and guess what, I live there too.”
It then goes on further to say.
“I am autism, I have no interest in right or wrong, I derive great pleasure out of your loneliness, I will fight to take away your hope.”
I shall leave it there as I could no longer force myself to write any more. This video is despicable. It is playing on the fears that parents of autistic children already have. The fear of what will happen to the child once they are gone, how their child will cope in society and what support they will need. These are all real concerns, they are my concerns too, I would be lying if I said any different, bu this video is sheer propaganda, this takes it to a whole new level. They use this natural fear and concern for our children for their own gains, and they are very clever in dong so.
My initial reaction when I first saw this video though, was not fear and panic towards my child but disgust. The portrayal of autism as a ‘monster’ needing to be exorcised from my child I found hugely distasteful and offensive. Do I fear for the future? Well, yes I do, I have written on the subject on many occasions, I worry about how independent he will be, if he will be supported etc but these are natural concerns I feel, they have nothing in common with this blatant brainwashing that your life will be forever doomed and consumed by this ‘monster.’ The video makes you frightened, it instills fear, But not just in parents but the wider community. That is what is truly frightening.
The message I received while watching was that autism needs to be eradicated, otherwise it will destroy your child, yourself and your marriage. Well, we have challenges, I would be lying if I said we didn’t, but I would rather focus on the positives, the interventions and that autism can teach you a few positive life lessons. None of this I get from Autism Speaks. They focus on treatment and cure. Although research is needed, I am not against it, I do feel that more needs to be done to put in place support and interventions for the individual and family who are affected by autism. They seem to be hell bent on finding a magic cure. My viewpoint though is that it can’t be cured, research to learn more about it, yes, but to find a cure? No. Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder.
I also don’t need pity. Neither does my child.
We have good and bad days, but you know what, we also have fun and because of him I do see the world in a different light. I don’t need people feeling sorry for my child or for myself. This video screams out that individuals and the family need pity, because well, loo, life is just awful. Well no thanks.
I support the National Autistic Society (NAS) and the work that they do. They raise awareness, support families and provide much needed information as well as manning a helpline. They do so without instilling fear. They merely present the facts and offer help. Isn’t that we all need?
I support all those individuals who work tirelessly without recognition in their local community to support the families and individuals. They don’t have the money that Autism Speaks have, but you know what, they don’t breed defeeat, spread misinformation of creature a culture of stigma. They help others, period.
So, while many celebrate Autism Speaks, I simply cannot do so.