After the Firestorm
Amongst the controversy from this past week (RE: “I am Autism.”), a very intriguing, but startling question was posed. “What will happen when [/if] Autism Speaks folds?”
I don’t expect them to fold. I think they will survive with the parents that cling to them now. But I think they will damage a lot of their credibility along the way. What will happen after that? Some parents that I’ve come in contact with say, “Well, if you don’t like them, donate your money else where.” or spout something about how no one else is bringing awareness.
I posted earlier this week about I am Autism dot ORG. We have been discussing what we can do to really help get it started. Suggestions have rolled around about needing a parents section. Not AS parents, but parents of ASD kids. Something that has meaningful resources for parents with a friendly Neurodiversity atmosphere. I’ve said I would be happy to help contribute. This is one way to help bridge the gap.
I’d like to see a lot more than just this happening though. Where can families put their money? ASAN is a worthwhile place that I like to support when at all possible, but I must admit, I do not see a lot of NT parents donating. Autism Society of America has been a decent place to turn, but the more Autism Speaks reaches, the more it seems ASA associates with the same mentality. Don’t even get me started on National Autism Association or The Autism Science Foundation with their for that matter.
My biggest want out of all of this is to see more assistance go to AASPIRE along with bolstering an advocacy group such as ASAN. There are a lot of ways to do this, but I think for all involved, it is a worthwhile initiative. My greatest hope is that we will be able to reach and help families with Autism.