I was approached on Twitter recently by a woman who said she has undiagnosed Adult Asperger's Syndrome and was against my involvement with AutismSpeaks.org. I had thanked her for re-tweeting one of my autism posts. I received the following reply:
@chaseblogger i rtd that to the members of the Autistic Community who are opposed to Autism Speaks. Sorry, we don't want to be eradicated
Apparently, she (and it turns out a whole big group of people like her) feel as though Autism Speaks is bent on eradicating people who have autism. They feel that this group portrays people with autism as individuals who have no emotions, who break up families, cause divorce, and regard them as puzzle pieces instead of human beings. She belongs to a group called Autism Self Advocacy Network. Here is a video I found posted on YouTube recently where college students who are part of the ASAN protested Autism Speaks.
It seems to me like the ASAN feel very strongly that Autism Speaks is treating them unfairly and misinforming (or at best lacking to inform) the public in regards to adults that have autism. A point that I feel is being missed by members of the ASAN in this video, is that some adults with autism aren't lucky enough to be high enough on the functioning end of the spectrum that would allow them to GET A COLLEGE EDUCATION. Some, in fact, cannot feed or wipe themselves. I think there's a middle ground somewhere, is the point I'm getting at. So in the next post of this series I'll take a closer look at Autism Speaks to find out what I could possibly be missing and then I'll end the series up with a post about what I think can solve everyone's problem.
You can read part two of this series here: Does Autism Speaks want to eradicate people with autism?