Archived | Autism Speaks Special Report and interactive Story Mosaic create a fuller picture of autism’s diversity | Circa #NotAnAutisticAlly #BanABA

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Autism Speaks Special Report and interactive Story Mosaic create a fuller picture of autism’s diversity

-Thousands of people with autism and their supporters tell their stories in words and pictures

-More than half of survey respondents say they have someone with autism in their lives

-Special Report is released on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2 to begin World Autism Month

NEW YORK, April 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — How much do most people know about autism? Autism Speaks commissioned a national survey on myths, misconceptions and attitudes about autism spectrum disorder. The findings are compiled in the 2018 Autism Speaks Special Report, issued April 2 to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day and the start of World Autism Month. To round out the picture, more than 2,000 people affected by autism shared their stories in a new interactive Story Mosaic. Together, the stories, photos, videos and survey create a fuller picture of the diverse autism spectrum.

The research firm Abt Associates surveyed approximately 1,200 people across the country in March 2018 about their understanding and perceptions of autism spectrum disorder. The survey found that 55 percent of respondents said that they or an immediate family member has autism, or that they know someone who does. Those who know someone on the spectrum had a more accurate understanding of the ways in which autism may affect different individuals. 

“We’re pleased to see an increase in awareness of autism,” said Angela Geiger, Autism Speaks president and CEO. “But we know that we need to increase the understanding and acceptance of people with autism, and provide additional solutions that enable children and adults on the spectrum to live their best possible lives.” 

The survey highlights some areas where resources and opportunities are lacking. For example, the survey found broad public support for independent living and employment opportunities for people on the spectrum; however, the vast majority are unemployed or underemployed. 

Even though most people know someone with autism, certain misconceptions persist. The survey found that familiarity with someone on the autism spectrum is associated with fewer misperceptions and more positive insights.

The Autism Speaks Special Report reveals common beliefs about autism, and provides information to dispel the myths and explain the facts. This report and its companion, a new Autism Speaks Quiz on myths and misconceptions, are available at

Other key findings: 

  • Almost three-quarters of those surveyed agreed that children with autism are more likely than other children to be bullied. 
  • Misconceptions exist in some communities about whether people with autism commit crimes at a higher rate than the general population. In fact, research dispels that notion and shows that those with autism are more likely than average to be the victims of crime. 
  • There is still a lack of understanding among some people about autism’s effect on daily life, including driving, relationships and humor.

Aimed at increasing understanding and acceptance, World Autism Awareness Day, sanctioned by the United Nations, is Monday, April 2. It begins World Autism Month, with activities around the globe. There are several ways to get involved:

  • The Autism Speaks Story Mosaic: Thousands of people affected by autism – children, adults, families and supporters — are sharing their own stories and pictures in an interactive feature. The diverse stories submitted so far include people ages 4 to 59, in more than 50 countries. Explore these stories – or share one – at
  • Get the Full Picture public service campaign: Autism affects each person differently. “Get the Full Picture,” Autism Speaks’ new public service campaign, creates a diverse picture of what autism is, through the eyes of children and adults on the vast spectrum. Created pro bono by the New York creative agency JWalk, the campaign features six people with different challenges and strengths. The campaign launches nationally April 2, along with six video profiles that can be viewed at Share your story on social media, using #AutismIs and #LightItUpBlue. 
  • Light It Up Blue: Join the annual Autism Speaks campaign for understanding and acceptance. In 150 countries, iconic landmarks as well as businesses, schools and homes will be lit in blue at dusk. Landmarks include the Empire State Building; Sichuan Tower of China; Tokyo Tower; the ancient city of Petra, Jordan; Niagara Falls; the Sagrada Familia in Spain; Prince’s Palace of Monaco; Panama Canal; and Sydney Opera House in Australia, among others. Learn how to Light It Up Blue at Photos available here. 
  • Wear Blue on World Autism Awareness Day: Share photos of yourself, family, friends and co-workers wearing blue on April 2 and throughout the month via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, using #LightItUpBlue.

About Autism 
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 now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum.

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. We empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. Go to to learn more, donate or join a fundraising walk. 

SOURCE Autism Speaks


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.

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