Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Real Autism Advocacy: Lindt and Autism Speaks Team Up to Raise Autism Awareness And Funds For Autism

In the interests of full disclosure concerning the attached news release I have to admit that I have enjoyed my fair share of Lindt chocolate products especially the Excellence 99% cacao that Lindt offers. And I am supportive of Autism Speaks - one of the few autism advocacy organizations practicing reality based autism acceptance and raising funds for research to identify causes and possible treatments for autism.

Lindt & Sprungli Partners with Autism Speaks to Raise Awareness and Funds for Autism This Easter

Americans Encouraged to Build A Better Easter Basket Through Lindt Gold Bunny Giveback Program

STRATHAM, N.H., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Lindt & Sprungli, the world's leading producer of premium chocolate, and Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism research and advocacy organization, today announced a partnership. The partnership will raise awareness and funds for autism, leading up to Easter and during the month of April, which is Autism Awareness Month. Lindt will support the non-profit through a donation given for each Lindt Gold Bunny purchased, and through participation at select Autism Speaks' Walk Now for Autism events. In addition, Lindt will honor individuals that have contributed to the autism cause, through a recognition program.

"Lindt USA is very excited to support Autism Speaks," said Thomas Linemayr, chief executive officer and president, Lindt USA. "This Easter, the Lindt Gold Bunny will not only help build nicer, premium Easter baskets but it will also bring hope and help to the millions of families impacted by autism across the country."

For every Lindt Gold Bunny sold from March 12th through April 12th Lindt will donate 10 cents to Autism Speaks up to a $100,000 donation. To further symbolize and support the partnership, Lindt has designed plush Lindt Gold Bunny Ears. The ears will be provided at select Walk Now for Autism events and can be purchased at Lindt Chocolate Shops and online at www.LindtGoldBunny.com.

"One in every 150 children is diagnosed with autism, making it the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States," said Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks. "We're thrilled to partner with Lindt to further support the families affected by this disorder."

For more information about the partnership, to purchase seasonal products or to send an Easter themed e-card to friends and family, please visit www.LindtGoldBunny.com. For more information about autism, Autism Speaks and the Walk Now for Autism events, please visit www.AutismSpeaks.org.

Founded in 1845, Lindt & Sprungli is a global leader in the premium chocolate category, offering high-quality products in more than 80 countries. Lindt & Sprungli operates eight production facilities in Europe and the United States and employs 6,300 worldwide. Lindt USA operates more than 100 retail stores throughout the country and maintains wide distribution through extensive retail and wholesale channels. For more information on Lindt, visit www.lindtusa.com.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation's three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org

Website: http://www.lindtusa.com//

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jonathan said...

you forgot to mention that one of neurodiversity's latest cause celebre's is to boycott this company due to their affiliation with autism speaks.

Anonymous said...

'Autism Speaks' for eliminating autism. There's speculation that Leonardo da Vinci may have been on the autistic spectrum. Is this really such a wise cause to support?

Unknown said...

Anonymous 5:12 as you yourself stated the speculation about da Vinci (and Einstein and Van Gogh and every other historical genius) being autistic is exactly that - speculation - not fact.

What is fact is the very serious challenges faced by some persons with autistic disorders - including my son. His challenges are not speculation - they are fact.

If a cure or a treatment which improves his situation is developed then I want him to have it. Whether da Vinci or anyone else MIGHT have had some autistic features is irrelevant.

shakingsystem said...

This is an extremely positive initiative on the part of Lindt chocolate company.The ball has definitely started rolling in the right direction.Let's hope other companies,will emulate their positive actions.

The long awaited research, treatment options,and therapies are long overdue. Individuals with autism have been left dangling in the dark far too long.

There is the light and hope at the end of the tunnel.Words have been put into actions.
The never-ending 'boxing match' of trials and tribulations is a continuous battle being fought out once more, only this time, the individuals with autism have more of a chance at a 'knock out', bringing them one step closer to victory.

Anonymous said...

I shall abandon speculation then and state that I for a fact am on the autism spectrum and it's a widely-held belief that I am an extremely talented visual artist. I don't know about that, but I do know my autistic traits go a long way to shape my art. It is my primary obsession.

Would I exist had there been a prenatal test for autism spectrum before I was born?

I don't want to be cured. I'm not diseased. I'm just different.

If 'Autism Speaks' put their time and energy into how we all might just be able to get along in a neurodiverse world then I'd be supportive of them.

'Autism Speaks' doesn't, though, and so they don't speak for me.

Unknown said...


1. What do you mean by "on the spectrum"? What specific PDD, if any, have you been diagnosed with?

2. Is anyone trying to force you to seek treatment or cure?

3. Do you not recognize the rights of parents to seek treatment and cure for their children's disorders and the rights of autistic children to receive treatment and cure?

Anonymous said...


2. Not as of yet, but please, tell me how you envision autism might be prevented should the genetic marker be discovered? Do you value any of your child's autistic traits or would you prefer to have all of them 'cured'? And do you really think he would be the same person without them?

3. I'll paraphrase from AFF, as I am a member and have already read and agree with it's mission. And also because it's no easy thing for me to put my thoughts into words - I'd much rather draw you a picture.

I support the rights of autistic people to receive support services and ethical forms of treatment. For example, speech therapy, sensory integration therapy, and general counselling.

I am opposed to unethical treatments. For example, the use of aversives (e.g. "behavioral" physical harm, denial of food, deliberate triggering of sensory overloads), unreasonably long hours (e.g. many people advocate 40hrs/week of ABA), potentially dangerous treatments (e.g. chelation), and focusing on "normalisation" rather than help (e.g. restricting non-damaging autistic behaviors such as stims.)

Unknown said...


Thank you, I am happy to see that no one has tried to force you to undergo treatment of any kind for your Pervasived Developmental Disorder, PDD-NOS.

Please try to respect the rights of those autistic persons who do seek treatment and the rights of autistic children whose parents seek treatment on their behalf.

I value my child about whom you know nothing. If a treatment or cure is found that permits him to function at a higher level, that permits him to live more independently than I would want that for him in his best interest, a decision that I, and his mother, would make as his parents. This is a decision in which you have no legitimate interest.

You did not answer my question about the rights of parents to seek treatment for their children's autism disorders.

As for the treatments you characterize as unethical ABA is very ethical despite your unsubstantiated assertion to the contrary. It is widely accepted by credible authorities as an effective, evidence supported intervention for improving the skills of autistic children in a variety of areas and for reducing negative, some times dangerous behavior.

You seek to interfere in families with autistic children.

Anonymous said...

I told you what I support and what I oppose.

Opinions of parents with autistic children seem to be mixed on ABA. I direct you to your very own 'Autism Speaks'.

an example:
I feel ABA made my daughter submissive and a follower, which is not her personality. I strongly believe that she suppresses her feelings and wants because she acts as it is expected from her.
-- Chrisanthy Tetonis, N.Y.

I seek "to interfere in families with autistic children" no more than you do with your support Lindt and of 'Autism Speaks'. Pot kettle black.

Unknown said...


You don't appear to be well informed about parents' efforts to obtain ABA treatment for their children. No one will find unanimity for any treatment. But parents across Canada have fought for years to obtain government funded ABA treatment for our children. In the US parents are still fighting state legislatures to require health insurers to fund ABA treatment.

You have no stake in this issue. You are not being forced to undergo ABA treatment and you have not indicated that you have an autistic child. Nor have parents authorized you to speak on behalf of their autistic children.

You are simply interfering in the efforts of parents to obtain ABA for their children.