Co-Founder, Autism Speaks
Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, GE
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal
Bob Wright is the co-founder of Autism Speaks, along with his wife, Suzanne. In 2004, the Wrights joined the millions of Americans affected by autism when their grandson was diagnosed with the disorder. Finding few resources and even fewer definitive answers, Bob and Suzanne, with the crucial help of friends like Bernie Marcus and Phil Geier, launched an initiative to raise awareness and funds and help the autism community move closer to a cure. Autism Speaks was officially launched in February 2005.
Bob has a strong history of philanthropy and community service, for which he has received numerous awards and accolades. Among them are the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian of the Year Award from the UJA-Federation of New York, the First Amendment Award from the Media Institute, and the Ad Council’s Public Service Award. Bob is chairman and chief executive officer of NBC Universal and vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric Company. He joined the National Broadcasting Company as president and chief executive officer on September 1, 1986, and became chairman and chief executive officer on June 4, 2001. With the formation of NBC Universal, Bob holds the reins of one of the world’s fastest-growing media and entertainment companies, and a leader in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.
Bob is a member of the board of directors of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. He is on the board of governors of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and is a member of the Society of New York Hospital Inc. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where he currently serves as a trustee. He received his LL.B. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He and Suzanne live in Connecticut. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Co-Founder, Autism Speaks
Suzanne Wright is the co-founder of Autism Speaks, along with her husband, Bob. After their grandson was diagnosed with autism in February 2004, Suzanne and Bob sought answers to the myriad questions generated by the disorder. Their personal mission to help their grandson has evolved into a public mission to raise awareness, facilitate and fund research, and unite the autism community under a national platform. Autism Speaks was launched in February 2005.
Suzanne has an extensive history of being actively involved in community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed toward helping children. Focused on providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for some of the country’s most deserving children, Suzanne has teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the YMCA, and other local organizations. Suzanne serves on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York; the Laura Pels Foundation; the Inner-City Foundation for Charity and Education; and the Philadelphia-based Champions of Caring Project.
Suzanne is on the board of trustees of Sarah Lawrence College, where she received her bachelor of arts degree in May 1998. She and Bob live in Connecticut. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Co-founder, The Home Depot, Inc.
Chairman, The Marcus Foundation
Bernie Marcus is co-founder of The Home Depot, Inc., the world’s largest home improvement retailer. He served as chairman of the board until his retirement in 2002. He remains director emeritus and Home Depot’s largest single stockholder.
Bernie serves as chairman of the board of The Marcus Foundation, which he founded in 1988. Its areas of focus include Jewish causes, children, medical research, free enterprise, and the community.
In 1991, he and his wife, Billi, established The Marcus Institute, which provides programs for children and adolescents with disorders of the brain and their families. In 1998, the Marcus Institute joined forces with the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
Bernie has generously donated $25 million to Autism Speaks to spearhead its efforts to raise money for research on the causes and cure for autism. He plans to be an active member of its board of directors.
Gary W. Goldstein, M.D.
Clinical Scientific Advisor, Autism Speaks
President and CEO, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Dr. Gary Goldstein is the clinical scientific advisor for Autism Speaks, and president and chief executive officer of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, one of the nation’s leading treatment centers for autism and other developmental disorders.
He is also a professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and a professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Hygiene and Public Health.
One of the leading researchers of neurological functions and defects, Gary has helped gain international recognition for the Kennedy Krieger Institute through his studies of children with a wide range of disabilities, from rare genetic disorders to common learning problems.
Gary received his M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1966. He served as a major in the United States Army before becoming the director of pediatric neurology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
The Kennedy Krieger Institute is dedicated to helping children and adolescents with disorders of the brain achieve their potential and participate as fully as possible in family, school, and community life. For more than sixty years, Kennedy Krieger has worked toward unraveling the mysteries behind disorders of the brain in children. Under Gary’s direction, the faculty hosts some of the world’s leading experts in this field and is attuned to the special needs of this population.
More than 10,000 children with disabilities visit the Kennedy Krieger Institute every year.
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.