Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Do Not Like Autism Speaks Any Better in Spanish than I Do in English

I enjoy occasionally watching Spanish television on Univision. While I have trouble with spoken Spanish I can follow along with closed captioning. I was watching Univision today and to my surprise they had a commercial for Autism Speaks. According to the commercial your child stands a 1 in 600,000 chance of being hit by lightening but a 1 in 150 chance of having autism (grasp of horror).

Autism Speaks is an advocacy organization that operates on the autism as an illness model. While there may be legitimate reasons for this when dealing with low functioning autism this becomes a problem for people like me who have Asperger syndrome. I do not view myself as being, in any way, mentally challenged. If anything it is people who do not have Asperger syndrome who are mentally challenged. (Not to worry I know many fine neuro-typicals. Being a neuro-typical is something that can be overcome with the right amount of dedication) I have chronicled my problems with Autism Speaks in the past. More recently Autism Speaks has started a group on campus. This information was passed on to me by a friend who put me in contact with the faculty member sponsoring them in the hope that I might offer some balance. No one told me that I was actually supposed to be nice to this person. So I explained to this faculty person that I viewed joining Autism Speaks in the hopes of changing it as the equivalent of a gay person joining a conservative Christian group in the hope of changing it. No one told me that this faculty person was coming into this situation completely unfamiliar with the lead with the helmet style of speaking that is a trademark of Asperger syndrome either.

Because Autism Speaks in now on campus, my friend Melanie is starting an alternative group to correct some of the imbalances perpetrated by Autism Speaks and has recruited me as her second officer. (Official groups at Ohio State require at least two officers in addition to a faculty sponsor.) We are working in tandem with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN).


Miss S. said...

Don't you know that the non-afflicted know what's best for the afflicted in all cases? That White people have the right to say what is and is not offensive to non-White people? Don't you know that everyone wants to be Stepford Husbands & Wives? Why don't you know this?

Eh-hem, my alter-ego is the National President of a sorority and I've saw this philantrophy supported by Kappa Lambda Xi. "Decoding Darkness"...isn't that special sounding? Read the description...and it's even worse. It's a shame, because these are nice women; but the fact that they would adapt such a cause shows complete cluelessness, disregard, or both.

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. I pray you will get cured soon.

Miss S. said...

Eww. And you, Dear Anonymous, are a coward. How difficult is it to sign up for a Blogger account and have some accountability for yourself if you want to deal out insults on the internet?

(I'm so sorry...but I have no patience for lunacy this week! No one's blog is immune, as can be demonstrated by my rantings on Aliza's!)

Izgad said...

I was hoping that some gallant princess would come rescue this dude in distress. :)

Ted Seeber said...

I'm halfway across the country (Oregon) but I ran into a grandmother on facebook who will likely be contacting your organization soon. She is starting:
The Sensory Playroom and Autism Family Resource Center located at 1908 Hayes Ave., Fremont, Ohio 43435

And is looking for people to speak at a future conference who are part of the neurodiversity movement (as opposed to that other organization that we all dislike).