Autism
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.