New York, NY
February 6, 2007
Two years ago, my wife Suzanne and I founded Autism Speaks. Our mission, inspired and motivated by the diagnosis of our grandson Christian, was to bring awareness to what was then a quiet epidemic. I vowed to bring the principles of strategic vision, creative thinking and tactical discipline that had served me so well in my career at GE and NBC, to Autism Speaks, laying the groundwork for an organization whose purpose was to find the causes and a cure for autism, and to provide the thousands of affected families with viable treatments.
Today I announced that after a profound and rewarding 21 years at the helm of NBC Universal I was stepping down, and as planned, have passed the torch to a venerable colleague whom I have mentored and played a part preparing for the vast challenges ahead. I will remain active as the Vice-Chairman of GE, allowing me to play a decisive leadership role at the company, while also enabling me to devote more time to the growth and expansion of Autism Speaks.
The autism advocacy movement* has entered a dynamic, new era. We are winning significant victories every day, in laboratories, in the media and on Capitol Hill. As we move boldly forward, I’m more energized and driven than ever before by all the possibilities we, as a community, have within our reach.
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
- The ‘autism advocacy movement’ is different than the Autistic civil and human rights movement. These two movements are vastly different and should not be confused.
More With Bob Wright
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 work. In 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.