A critique of Autism Speaks.
*Trigger warning Mental Illness, Death, and Abortion
Illustration by Claire Laitinen (Graphic Designer, The Continuist) IG: @clairelaitinen
By Aodhán Campbell (IG: @aodhan.soup)
Content Creator (Poetry), The Continuist
Autism Speaks likes to talk about Autism,
But let’s talk about Autism Speaks.
They are the world’s leading Autism charity.
For clarity, I use the term ‘charity’ very, very loosely.
Autism Speaks spends a hundred and fifty times more
Researching a cure to eradicate autism
Than they do on hate alleviation.
Their board of executives,
A conglomeration of major corporations.
On the plus side, I’ve never had to wonder
What me or the autistic community is worth.
I know by heart that it’s zero point one six percent
Of their funding.
While we’re on Autism Speaks,
What are their goals?
What do they seek?
They want to end autism,
What does that mean?
It means treating it like a burden,
It means developing a pre-natal test
To weed out people like me
And encouraging expecting mothers
To abort autistic babies,
Getting rid of us
Like animals afflicted with rabies.
There’s no excuse for this hate,
No excuse for the bated breath
With which I have to wait
For the next horrific thing they’ll do
There were so, so many to choose from,
But here are a couple of quotations.
“Autism will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams.”
“If you are happily married, Autism will make sure that your marriage fails."
“Autism works faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined.”
“Autism will make sure that every day you wake up you will cry”
“Many parents must mourn the loss of some of the hopes and dreams they had for their child before they can move on.”
That last one aired on Sesame Street.
They really said “mourn the loss”, it’s surreal.
Can you imagine how shitty that must feel?
Like a goddamn funeral
For the son my mum should've had.
News outlets called it “controversial”.
Ain’t that the fucking truth?
So don’t support Autism Speaks.
Remember the stigma,
Remember the bullshit,
Remember the part they play in all of it.
Underscored by this outpour.
And what’s more,
If you want to hear Autism’s voice,
Then give people with autism
The motherfucking floor.