Video | The 2007 Autism Hearing That Didn’t Include Autistics But Did Include Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright, Pt. 6 #BanABA #AutisticHistory

Trigger Warning:

This video includes ableism, bigotry, tragedy narrative, autistic conversion therapy/ ABA, Abuse, autism myth and propaganda, influence on legislation without Autistic representation, filicide/suicide ideation.

#StopTheShock #BanABA #StopToxicCures #BanMMS #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs #DisabilityRights #AutisticDignity #LegislationWithoutRepresentation 

Autism SpeaksAutism Society of AmericaBradley WhitfordTom InselBob WrightMarguerite Colston and other Autism organizations and influencers speak at the Autism Treatment and Research Hearing about controversial therapies in 2007.

Autistics weren’t included

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. 

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.

APRIL 17, 2007

Autism Treatment and Research

Witnesses testified about the prevalence of autism and policy implications for health care in the U.S. Among the topics they addressed were combating autism, available treatments, research into the disease, and coordinating a federal response to the problem. 

View Original Testimony Video :

In This Clip:

Video | The 2007 Autism Hearing That Didn’t Include Autistics But Did Include Autism Speaks Co-Founder, Bob Wright Pt. 6

Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, is introduced with very glowing descriptions by Senator Tom Harkin when it’s his turn to testify. Wright is a non-Autistic grandparent of an Autistic.

Bob Wright and his wife, Suzanne, the other co-founder, launched Autism Speaks in honor of their grandson in 2005. This was after meeting NIMH Director Tom Insel in 2003. The Wrights were advised by Insel at that time on how to best proceed with their autism-oriented goals and agendas. The Wrights worked with already existing parent-led autism organizations and convinced them to merge with Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks was to act like an umbrella for these organizations and leverage their shared power to push their agendas.

Cure Autism Now (CAN), National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), Autism Genome Project (AGP) and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) were brought into the fold. In 2007, Autism Speaks also worked closely with the Autism Society of America on shared goals and initiatives.

Bob Wright delivers his testimony with the hallmark Autism Speaks tragedy and fear narrative coupled with autism prevalence predictions and the staggering burden that Autistics will pose on the rest of society when they (Autistics) reach adulthood. This statement by Wright is just one component of a massive marketing and lobbying push to get Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to be covered through Medicaid and private insurance companies. Already the Big Blue Marketing Machine has bloated media channels, literature, schools, doctors offices and more with their verbiage about autism.

Bob Wright uses very dehumanizing descriptions, an incredible amount of autism conjecture and myth double-wrapped in ableism and then dunked into a bucket of flaming hot stigma while describing his Autistic grandson. It’s astounding how this grandpa is using his autistic grandchild as a prop to influence policy makers, legislation and generate donations by the millions while at the same time purposefully excluding Autistics from representation in legislation pertaining to our lives, healthcare and personhood.

Wright speaks to the fail rate of ABA as if it’s a success story. He doesn’t acknowledge the Autistic community whatsoever in his testimony either. Instead he refers to the ‘Autism Community’ knowing full well the Autistic Community existed, and that the ‘autism community’ didn’t include most Autistics. Wright was fully comfortable utilizing his privilege to speak over Autistics and exclude us from this hearing.

Wright speaks to how little is known on Autism — and then projects his fears and opinions about autism as fact and pushes for funding for government entities that meet the agendas of his parent-led organization. ABA (aka behavioral therapy or autistic conversion therapy) is hailed as the golden savior of society from the massive increase of Autistics being born the world just couldn’t afford. Autistic activists and our real allies are still fighting the stigma launched from these campaigns and testimonies today.

In 2007, Wright states that insurance companies don’t cover ABA and autism treatments. At that time, Autistic advocates were already fighting to have the incredibly controversial and abusive therapy banned. We still are.

Parents of Autistics are rallied by the pervasive marketing launched by Autism Speaks (and similar orgs) and are encouraged to become parent ‘warriors’. These ‘warriors’ help lobby for ABA to be covered by insurance, and for pseudoscience research to funded by the government. Parents are gaslighted ‘with hope’ and become true believers of ABA and other ‘autism cures.’

During this hearing, Autistics are spoken about as if we can’t hear or understand what’s being said about us. We are spoken about as if we are a disease and not a people. Autistics are spoken about even as we are excluded from participating in any meaningful manner at this hearing and pretty much everywhere else. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) will be created with representation from the ‘autism community’ and non-Autistic parents of Autistics. Many of the science organizations connected to the IACC via a representative are part and parcel with the Autism Cabal that formed in 2003. The majority of them are parent-founded and parent-led. This year (2021) a few Autistic advocates – not affiliated with these parent-led organizations as their mouthpiece – are finally now at the IACC table in a meaningful manner.

The Autism Wars between the cure movement ( ‘gene hunters’) and the vaccine-injury pseduoscience movement (antivaxxers) explode after this hearing — the pseudoscience push for $40 million a year via government funding isn’t approved but ABA was given a green light.

These parent-founded organizations were already at each other’s throats to be the loudest voice on autism for some years. Each wanted to have their pet projects funded by the government budget. Autism Speaks tried to harness all of these organizations under their umbrella to achieve advancements in legislation and funding research in their favor. The partnership didn’t last long. Many folks from the earlier orgs that were merged left Autism Speaks to go start a new organization or join another more to their liking after this hearing. This shakeup doesn’t stop the churn of the Big Blue Machine though. The power, money and celebrity influence here steamrolls on.

By 2008, it’s obvious all hell has broken loose and Autistic advocates aren’t just caught in the cross fire. No, both sides of the parent-led activism groups leverage their privilege, money and power to silence Autistics. They do a damn fine job of it too. Autistics adults are muted, dehumanized, vilified in our fight for disability rights, basic human rights, and civil rights. Our activism isn’t funded and most of us are living in poverty, suffering or surviving some type of abuse, and/or facing incarceration as care or homelessness as care. Our number one cause of early death is suicide — and we’re still out here on our phones, our tablets and laptops fighting to be heard over the roar of these parent-led organizations.

It’s 2021 and we’re still being dehumanized, vilified and denied basic civil and human rights by these people. Autism Speaks is still speaking over us – only now with ‘inclusion’ in their marketing spiels and handpicked Autistics that parrot their partyline to show parents their ‘inclusion’ – while simultaneously fighting Autistic activists demanding to be included and watching their multi-billion dollar return on investment continue to grow.

The Autism Wars aren’t about helping Autistic people. It’s about money. Lots and lots of it.


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.

4 Replies to “Video | The 2007 Autism Hearing That Didn’t Include Autistics But Did Include Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright, Pt. 6 #BanABA #AutisticHistory”

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