Autism Speaks continues its betrayal of the 50% of persons on the autism spectrum, those with intellectual disability, those for whom autism is a disorder not a superior way of thinking or the possible subject of a new TV comedy series or a career as a well paid "autism" advocate with "Autism" Speaks.
In the October 11 2013 blog "An Emphasis on Strength: Finding Fulfilling Employment" Sarah Andrews, Autism Speaks Coordinator of Adult Services, and mother of two sons with autism, talks about the interests of her two sons "on the spectrum". Ms. Andrews offers the current feel good drivel that is circulated widely now and which simply pushes aside, as the DSM5 does, those with severe autism disorders, specifically those with serious intellectual disabilities ... global developmental delay:
"Focus on your child's strengths and interests and hopefully he
or she will find a career that is fulfilling and rewarding."
This may come as a shock to Ms Andrews and the rest of the Very High Functioning Autism Speaks organization but most children receive an autism disorder diagnosis because of their deficits, not because of their strengths or interests. Many families are literally trying to live each day with their severely autistic, intellectually disabled child, usually a son, to the best of the PARENTS ability. Some lose the battle when an autistic child goes missing and is found in the worst of circumstances. Some deal with noise levels, and chaotic conditions, that can result in threats of eviction from apartments and condominiums as is now occurring in Ottawa. Some see self injurious behavior in their child on a regular basis. Some struggle to communicate with their child.
The corporate officers at High Functioning Autism Speaks are reportedly well paid. They should offer more than feel good platitudes and meaningless tripe as advice to parents dealing with their child’s harsh realities. The corporate officers at High Functioning Autism Speaks should at least PRETEND they care about the 50% of the autism spectrum with intellectual disabilities. At the very least they should not engage in the misrepresentation of autism challenges to the world at large.