Sharing: Whose Charities Are They Anyway?

Autism-based “charities” and “support” products, ironically, do *not* actually improve the lives of actually-autistic people, nor do those “charities” and “support” product manufacturers actually care about doing so. Those entities don’t exist for the benefit of people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum; they exist for a subset of their parents and caregivers, the parents and caregivers who are too lazy or too narrow-minded and personally limited to wrap their heads around the possibility of a valid-but-different way of being. The simple fact is, these entities are detrimental to the lives of people on the spectrum, which is a topic that I’ll be exploring on this blog is the near future. But in preparation for April, which is Autism “Awareness” Month, I’m gearing up for editorials, commentaries, and rebuttals of my own, and I could think of no better way to kick things off with a sneak preview of that than this wonderfully-written post. Cheers to Alex for excellent writing, solid information, and a brave voice! You go, Alex! Good stuff 🙂

My Autistic Dance

You can hardly walk though town these days without tripping over some autism charity or another. In terms of awareness, the message seems to be getting out. On radio, TV and in the papers you hear about autism most days.

So why, you might be forgiven for asking, are these autistic advocates and activists not satisfied? Why are they still complaining?

It’s very simple. Awareness means nothing. What autistic people need is acceptance. Equal rights, equal opportunities. An end to exploitation and second-class status.

What does nearly every autism charity have in common? It was set up and is run by parents of autistic children. However well-meaning they might be they are not autistic. Their aims are not autistic people’s aims. These organisations are run for the parents’ benefit, not for the benefit of the autistic children and adults.

So you get Autism Speaks with their infamous blue puzzle piece:…

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  1. Hello my lovely – just had to reply…sorry…in the main I absolutely agree with this post. However, not all parents believe the same thing and some are superb advocates for their autistic children – so I would think that plenty of parents could be quite upset about this. My main concern relates to Anna’s Expo though. I was there – I was the first speaker – and it was announced that I have been chosen as a patron to the charity (by the way I didn’t know about any of this situation regarding the controversial speaker until I arrived…); there are as always two sides to the story – a certain activist had been extraordinarily threatening and borderline harassing leading up to the event with several veiled threats about what might or might not happen on the day and caused a huge amount of distress to many of Anna’s volunteers (the entire day was set up in the main using volunteers, no one made any money out of it as far as I can tell). I absolutely accept that we don’t always get it right. But I don’t think that a charity that has a long history of doing good for the autism community should be lambasted out of hand. There has been education provision that now exists for autistic learners as a direct result of the charity – kids who were otherwise excluded from society. The Autism Hero Awards acknowledging excellent practice is a superb showcasing event. The album coming out – literally, with autistic voices being shared. Autisms Got Talent – again, events specifically by autistic people for autistic people, but would not happen without Anna’s charity. I am pretty sure those autistic people impacted positively by the charity wouldn’t agree with the post at all – in fact I know some definitely would not.

    I’m so sorry to go on – but when one is personally involved and maybe has more of an insider perspective it’s hard not to say something, I so so so hope you don’t mind, I’m not expecting you to change anything or write anything different. In fact I don’t really know why I felt the need to contact you, but then you know as well as any that when you get the urge to write…

    With huge affection and hoping you don’t take anything negative from this…

    L x


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and perspective! No worries, and no apologies needed 😊. You have much more experience with these things than I do, and I applaud your efforts! I’ll try to write more later; gotta run for now. But just please know that your viewpoint is well taken and well received 😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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