Podcast | Wake. Bake. Caffeinate. Ep. 6: Celebrity Influencers & Autism Organizations That Spoke For Autistics In 2007 | Eve Reiland

Autism Speaks, Autism Society of America, Bradley Whitford and other Autism organizations and influencers speak at the Autism Treatment and Research Hearing about controversial therapies in 2007.

TW: Filicide ideation, suicide ideation, tragedy narrative, autistic conversation therapy, aba, functioning labels, ableism, legislation without representation, stigma, ‘autism community,’ and more.

Wake. Bake. Caffeinate Episode 6:

Welcome back. Today we’re going back in Autistic History to 2007. 

There was a lot happening back in 2007. In the United States, the combating autism act had just been signed in Dec. of 2006. Some months later there was a Senate hearing to talk about the funding needs of this act, and where that money should be allocated. 

This is where the Autism Wars go from ugly to OMFG. Not long after this hearing, an article is published about the Wright family having a falling out over their views on autism. This family fight affected every Autistic on the planet. It’s still affecting us today. More on that later. I’ll share about this in an upcoming wake. Bake. Caffeinate. Episode. 

But for this episode we’re going to focus on the : The Autism Treatment and Research Hearing to assess progress made … 

At the hearing, Dr. Tom Insel talked about autism research initiatives the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and various statistical analyses associated with research.

He was followed by a panel of parents who testified about their experiences with autistic children and treatments for the disease.

View Video : https://www.c-span.org/video/?197628-1/autism-treatment-research

In today’s episode we’ll hear from :


Senator Arlen Specter

Bob Wright speaking as a grandparent and co-founder of Autism Speaks

Marguerite Colston speaking as a parent of an autistic and staff member of Autism Society of America. The founders of ASA are Bernard Rimland and Ivar Lovaas. Talk about conflict of interest. No Autistic speaking, but you have the founders of autism pseudoscience and autistic conversion therapy speaking on record to the senate.

The only thing missing is a celebrity endorsement. 

Oops, my mistake. There is a celebrity influencer in attendance.  Brad Whitford, actor on “West Wing” at that time and an Autism Speaks volunteer. 

The magazine Discover is spoke about repeatedly during this hearing. First by Senator Tom Harkin, then by Marguerite Colston  and Bob Wright during a Q&A session.

No autistic here in the testimony.  Just people speaking for us, and speaking about us like we can’t hear them, folks that are affiliated with incredibly problematic autism organizations. At this point every organization and parent here was frothing for the potential windfall of  money headed their directions, or in the direction they want. 

The Complementary Alternative medicine folks (antivaxxers and pseudoscience) wanted 40 million a year for research. Spoiler: They don’t get it. 

The other advocates were battling to get ABA implemented and the autism research they wanted funded. 

At this point every media outlet, online medium, talk show and print publication are already saturated with the tragedy narrative on Autism – and influencing public to demand private insurance companies cover Applied Behavioral Analysis via state-by-state legislation. Or to influence them to demand research on the false and fraudulent claim that vaccines cause autism.

Vaccines do NOT Cause autism.

also in this episode you’ll hear Autism referred to as a disease. 

Autism is not a disease.

Yet, these folks are presenting themselves as the experts on autism?

Autism is NOT a disease.

Vaccines do not cause autism.

So the media is parroting the press releases of Autism Speaks and organizations they’ve networked with to be the loudest voice on autism. The public service announcements by Ad Council are broadcasting the Autism Speaks message. Everywhere is the marketing on autism that is powered by Autism Speaks and these affiliated organizations. 

Can’t even eat breakfast cereal without seeing them printed on the box. 

These groups and people  do this knowing they are drowning out our voices. They influence legislation knowing Autistics disagree with abuse as therapy. We disagree with finding a ‘cure’ – during this era the cure movement folks are called ‘gene hunters’ by the vaccine-harmed groups. 

The tragedy narrative is focused on the ‘autism community’ – the community that doesn’t include us. They never reference to the Autistic Community. They never allude to the fact they are purposefully silencing us from representation in legislation.

Autistics for these folks are used as a prop, a tragedy or used for a donation push. 

The media is literally bought when Bob Wright goes so far as to float Discover Magazine and purchased every copy of that edition. Autism Society of America helped get that article placed too.

The title of it: Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head

The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain.

By Jill Neimark Mar 21, 2007 5:00 PM

The Great Autistic Silence can be felt here. Everyone is speaking about autism, influencing legislation and funding for research and deciding what is ‘medically necessary’ ‘autism therapy.’ Of course, that is ABA. Today’s multi-billion dollar market that’s the big rage to cash in on right now. 

And all these folks are speaking as if we don’t exist, aren’t already in a civil rights movement and they definitely don’t mention Autistics are protesting their work every possible opportunity. They definitely don’t mention they are fighting us every step of the way either. 

Autistic-led organizations were created to try and stop the harm of these organizations, and truly work for the best interests of Autistics here in the states and worldwide. In 2021, we’re still fighting for disability and autistic rights, to break stigma – and to be treated with dignity. 

We are a people, not a disease.

Just like in 2007, Celebrities today are still speaking about autism at the expense of Autistic people to support these parent-founded and parent-led organizations instead.

Repeatedly, the voices of celebrities have influenced legislation, research, education, employment, access to local services and support,  healthcare and created a frenzy of revenue from donations. Then there’s the stigma they launched too. Stigma we still suffer with today.

So we have all that coming up in this episode, plus some music by Bill Reiland. Today we have “Fortunate Son,” “One” and “Eve of Destruction.”

Weed & Read:

Celebrity Influencers | #NotAnAutisticAlly


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

One response to “Podcast | Wake. Bake. Caffeinate. Ep. 6: Celebrity Influencers & Autism Organizations That Spoke For Autistics In 2007 | Eve Reiland”

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