Last week, Autism Speaks celebrated its 10th anniversary. This is an organization widely reviled by the autistic community for, among other things, not including anyone autistic in its decision making, as well as treating the condition like a plague and people with it as defective and a burden on society.
To pat themselves on the back, they spread the hashtag “#AutismSpeaks10” on Twitter, asking people to share their memories of what the organization had done for them. Naturally, those of us who are #ActuallyAutistic decided to let them know what we really thought of them, and the results were darkly glorious.
#AutismSpeaks10, for making yourselves filthy-rich by preying on vulnerable parents & wrecking the futures of vulnerable children.”
#AutismSpeaks10 how dare you tell me this beautiful,clever,caring,kind,loving girl is a burden or a mistake.”
#AutismSpeaks10 because when you can convince parents that being autistic is worse than being dead, the sky is the limit for financial gain.”
Before they knew it, this organization that had hijacked autism found their own self-promotion hijacked by the very people they’d screwed over. Poetic justice served with schadenfreude sauce. Bon Appetit!
Seeing the autistic community stand up for itself in such a passionate and organized way was nothing short of exhilarating. Our message was loud and clear; we are not passive victims, we have voices of our own. We are autistic. Hear us roar.