Autism

"Autism Speaks" Founder Bob Wright Snubs Poor, Autistic Adults

| by Kev Leitch

The New York Post reported on
Autism Speaks founder Bob Wright (left) having a grumpy slap at adult autistic
people who were protesting the fact that Autism Speaks still has no
autistic representation on its Board.

Bob
Wright had harsh words for protesters who tried to muck up the A-list
benefit concert he put on at Carnegie Hall on behalf of autistic kids.

“The
protesters are lucky,” said Wright. “They’re well off enough, healthy
enough, to do it. I wish my grandson were able to join them.”

Wright runs Autism Speaks, which has raised over $200 million for research into a disorder that afflicts mainly children.

That
didn’t stop a clutch of sign-carrying adult protesters from descending
on Carnegie Hall Tuesday night, trying to disrupt a concert attended by
Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Martha Stewart. Protesters complain that
there’s not one autistic person on the board of the org, which produced
an “offensive” ad suggesting that autism was a fate worse than death.

Wright,
whose grandson cannot talk because of autism, said the disorder is
exploding among young kids who can’t speak for themselves.

“This is serious business,” he said.

Note
how the reporter states that the benefit was for autistic kids and
further states that autism affects mainly children. This should give
some insight into the silly one dimensional world that the Wrights, and
by extension, Autism Speaks inhabit. Of course autism doesn’t affect
mainly children. In fact, it would seem that the reverse is true.

I
would like to suggest to Bobo that what is serious business is blindly
misrepresenting autism either purposefully or (more likely) out of
ignorance. I would also like to suggest that its about time Autism
Speaks walked the walk and got aome autistic Board level members. I
would further suggest that Bobo wakes up and smells the coffee. Young
autistic kids definitely find it difficult to talk for themselves. Most
kids of his grandsons age might find it difficult to form coherent
opinions on high level concepts like the right to be who you are. In
the meantime, having an autistic Board level member would be a step in
the right direction. I’d happily accept Jake Crosby or Jon Mitchell.
Two men who I vehemntly disagree with yet who’s opinion on autism I
respect due to their diagnosis.

Maybe Bobo might take a look across the pond
if his cheeks aren’t still smarting from the slapdown he got last time
he came over here. Maybe the reality of life for autistic adults over
here might cause him to get a bit of a reality check as to where his
research priorities should lie. As he continues to steer Autism Speaks
down the increasingly stupid looking anti-vaxx hypotheses,

A THIRD of Wales’ autism sufferers are unemployed and living in ‘poverty’ without benefits, a charity has said.

9,000
autistic adults are surviving (sort of) on handouts from friends and
family. Not only are they subject to ignorance in job centres, they are
not made aware of how to make a claim:

She
[Shirley Parsley] said: “It is scandalous, therefore, that thousands of
people with this serious, lifelong and disabling condition are being
consigned to poverty by a complex and counter-productive benefits
system.”

This is the reality of life for autistic
adults. Abandoned by a state system and also abandoned by Autism
Speaks, an organisation focussed solely it seems on people of Bob
Wright’s grandchilds age. Whilst Bobo complains about how autism is
‘exploding amongst kids who can’t talk for themselves’ (a factoid for
which there’s no valid science), the adults he and his organisation
turn their backs on are literally starving.