No Stereotypes Here

An Open Letter to Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks

Posted on: September 23, 2009

I sent this to the Autism Speaks contact email contactus@autismspeaks.org. I’m also posting this here as an open letter.

To Suzanne Wright and whom it may concern in Autism Speaks,

The latest video of your organization Autism Speaks, “I am Autism”, completely disgusts me. It present an inaccurate presentation of autism, as if it were some disease, a blight or a growth that can be torn out of a person. Autism is a part of who I am. By presenting autism in the way that you have, not only have you demonized autism, but you have demonized and victimized autistic people. You show no compassion or empathy for autistic people in the way that you have represented us, or rather, the way in which you lack to represent us.

Because actually, the video doesn’t even address autistic people at all, only “autism” as a child-stealing disease and our parents. No once in the video do I see anything about how autistic people live, only the struggles and trials of our parents, putting them high on a pedestal as if they were all-suffering saints. While yes, our parents face struggles, they do so alongside us, and just because we are autistic does not mean that our lives are sinking pits of misery and tragedy. We have our own challenges and troubles, joy, happiness and love, just like non-autistic people.

The information about parents is also false, based on inaccurate presentations that are ignorant at best and outright lying at worse. There has been no evidence that families with autistic children have higher divorce rates, are more in debt, or become socially withdrawn. Yet the video continues to spread false information about our lives.

But that’s not the end of it.

Suzanne Wright, you LIED to parents in you personal appeal for their videos (released August 6, 2009 on the Autism Speaks YouTube channel). In the video, you states that the video will “[shine] a bright light on autism”. You give the impression of a positive video with an optimistic presentation of autism and autistic people. The only “bright light” in the video is the determination of parents, the vilification of autistic people, and to donate to Autism Speaks’ bankbook is the only way to make our lives better.

So congratulations, you have just angered and pushed away the very people you claim to be helping, and have given us more reasons why we hate your organization. We are sick and tired of your corrupt practices. We are disgusted in the way that you have attempted to represent us. We are appalled, horrified and deeply resent everything that you do. Your name has taught us the meaning of hatred and loathing.

You say that Autism speaks and it’s time to listen. So you want autism to speak, okay then, you had better be listening because here’s “autism” speaking:

I am Autistic and you DO NOT speak for ME!

Never yours,
Corina Becker
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19 Responses to "An Open Letter to Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks"

Well written and well said. I am, frankly, appalled anyone would listen to such a revolting organization.This would also make for a great video, I might add.

It would make for a good video. However, not the text ones that I've been doing. It needs actually video footage. I don't think I have the resources to gather enough to make it work. I'm thinking footage of autistics, writing, typing, signing and saying this.

Well done.Autism speaks does not speak for my husband and I as parents to children on the spectrum. It does not speak for my children.

Well, when I eventually come down, I can bring a video camera…

Thank you for writing this, Corina!

I've tried writing to them, but can't control the rage. Do you mind if I copy this to send to them?

@Noyer still dunno about filming it.@Kowalski you're welcome and thanks for the support.@Clay, go right ahead.

Hello. I am going to be sending a protest e-mail of my own and I plan to be writing "Never yours" like you did, Corina. That is the perfect closing to a letter to those bastards!

I wound up writing my own. Socrates inspired me.

@sadderbutwisergirl go for it!!@Clay, eh, just as well that you use your own words. Good job and thanks for considering mine 😀

Excellent letter. Well said.Joe

And we have rich morons like this working for A.S. begging for money from unsuspecting parents trying to convince them that A.S. is really working in their child's best interest. The lies never end with that organization!I hope that somehow you can share my vision for kids like Jack. They need and deserve solutions. Autism Speaks, through difficult economic times, continues to lead the charge in scientific research, global awareness, advocacy and family services for autism. Their work must continue. It just has to.Team Jack Attack will be walking once again at this year’s Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks. We hope to raise $20,000, a lofty goal. But if all of our family and friends would chip in just what they can, I believe we can make it.To make a donation, please visit our team page at http://www.walknowforautism.org/greaterboston/teamjackattack.You can join our team, or just make a donation on my personal donation page. If you prefer to mail in your donation, there’s form you can print out and mail in on my page as well.

Anonymous, your comment is confusing. At first, you seem to be against Autism Speaks, but then you post very pro-Autism Speaks sentiments, even promoting one of the walks.Could you please clarify? You have a week, otherwise I will consider this spam.

Corina- I didn't write those sentiments. They are from a blog post of a parent who spends the majority of her time hitting people up for money for A.S. and claiming they are our savior. The blog is titled Autismville.

http://autismville.blogspot.com/This is the blog I was speaking of. I will forever remain puzzled why parents like this think that Autism Speaks does anything for the kids when their main goal is to create controversy. Autism Speaks' other main goal is to line their own pockets with money and they recruit rich parents like this to try and brainwash unsuspecting people. Pathetic.

Ah, thank you, Anonymous. Next time, you might want to consider quotations, like "" to keep me and other from being confused.I am a little puzzled about it too, but I think it relates to the way in which the diagnosis was delivered, and the information that they received upon gaining the diagnosis. First impressions, you know?Then I think some organizations pick up on those impressions and take them to the extreme, thus creating and enforcing the negative stigma and stereotypes and increasing parents' fear. Then, the organizations prey upon misinformed parents. It's sad and pathetic, but it says a lot about people, organizations and society. But I think we can make a difference to change that, so that people will be better informed.

The woman who writes that particular blog is pathetic. Her entire goal is to become the next Suzanne Wright from the sounds of it.

Here's an ABA center looking for money and giving a big round of support to this vile organization. All these types want is more and more money from parents who are already strapped and all for what? Autism Speaks? Wake up and wise up people. http://www.nashobalearninggroup.org/events.htm

"People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." (Quoted from the Wikipedia article)This is why Autism Speaks has so much support. Because people were already anti-autism before they even started and that set the stage perfectly for their lies. The lies were repeated for over 40 years before the start of Autism Speaks and they cemented them by repeating them some more. But they used tools such as videos, celebrity supporters, and the Internet to give the lies more power.

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  • None
  • Corina Becker: Hi Anonymous person who apparently doesn't feel like giving me a name to address, and thus hides behind anonymity!!! I never said the federal gov
  • Anonymous: I think that it is about time something is being done federally to help those with ASD to get much needed therapies for their disability and YES I do
  • Corina Becker: Hi Janine! Melody reads here? Awesome. I honestly had no idea she was aware of this blog.And thank you so much, I'm glad both of you like the bl

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