[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Keith Wargo Appointed President and CEO of Autism Speaks
PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Autism Speaks, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the life span for people with autism and their families, today announced that Keith Wargo has been named president and CEO of the organization. Mr. Wargo’s appointment is effective October 15, 2021, and follows the Board of Directors’ announcement earlier this year that Angela Timashenka Geiger would be stepping down from her position after a five-year tenure. An extensive search was conducted by a search committee of the board of directors. Ms. Geiger has served as a critical member of the search team responsible for identifying her successor and will work closely with Mr. Wargo to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
Mr. Wargo joins Autism Speaks after a long and successful career in finance on Wall Street. He spent nearly 30-years in leadership roles at leading global financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, BMO Capital Markets and Mizuho Securities where he built effective teams and partnered with a broad array of stakeholders to identify innovative ways to enhance and scale platforms while tackling complex challenges. More recently, Mr. Wargo became an owner of Monarch Cypress, an industry-leading amenity manufacturer and supplier, where one of the company’s missions is to employ autistic individuals.
Mr. Wargo and his wife are parents of two adult children, one of whom has autism. Importantly, they have witnessed the positive impact that Autism Speaks has on enhancing the lives of people with autism and their families through research, advocacy, supports and services.
Brian Harper, chairman of the board of directors, Autism Speaks, said, “The last 18 months have been especially hard in the autism community, with people suffering from significant isolation and dislocation. There is an urgent need for our organization’s support and programs. Keith is an accomplished business leader and executive that has a proven track record of success in driving organizations forward. As a parent of an adult son on the spectrum, he also understands the diverse needs of the autism community and the importance of providing a variety of options and solutions to best support the people we serve. His passion for our cause and his deeply rooted commitment to fulfilling our broad and ambitious mission make him the ideal person to lead our team forward and continue our important work on behalf of the millions impacted by autism around the world.”
Keith Wargo, president and CEO, Autism Speaks, said, “It is an honor to join Autism Speaks during what I believe is a pivotal time in the organization’s history. My family and I have experienced first-hand the deep value of social connection and the dignity of work and purpose that all people, especially those who are autistic, need and deserve. I am looking forward to building on the phenomenal work that Angela Geiger and the team have already accomplished and to making a positive and profound impact.”
Angela Timashenka Geiger, former president and CEO, Autism Speaks, said, “Keith’s personal connection to autism as well as his business background make him an excellent choice to lead Autism Speaks going forward. There is still much to accomplish but I am confident that Keith is the right individual to get the job done and I am grateful to leave Autism Speaks in such capable hands.”
Mr. Wargo will be based in the New York metropolitan area.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. A combination of genetic and environmental factors influences the development of autism, and autism often is accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. Autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To find resources, join an event or make a donation, go to www.AutismSpeaks.org. Learn more by following @AutismSpeaks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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.