FYI: This is a press release for your information. This is not an endorsement for, against or otherwise.
Autism Speaks Research
All year long, Autism Speaks raises funds to support autism research. We hold walks, special events, and cultivate major giving opportunities for individuals as well as corporations and foundations all to help accelerate the pace of autism research. We are proud to be putting your hard earned dollars to work to move forward in finding a cure for autism.
In any disease or disorder there are four basic questions that can be investigated to improve its understanding: What causes it? (Etiology); What is it? (Biology); How do you know if someone has it? (Diagnosis); and most importantly, How do we make it better? (Treatment). Autism demands answers for each of these questions. All are priorities. Autism Speaks has garnered its resources and organized its research program to pursue each of these avenues simultaneously. Our four science program portfolios have been designed to encompass these priorities and find answers to each of these critical questions. Although we have organized our program into four components, progress in any of these areas will help inform advances in each of the others.
Through our grants (scientist-initiated requests for funding) and initiatives (targeted projects designed by Autism Speaks), we are able to support research designed to answer the questions poised in each of the four portfolios. For further information about the Autism Speaks’ Grant Program or the Autism Speaks’ Initiatives click on the links below or on the tabs up above.
Autism speaks stimulates autism research primarily in two ways. Perhaps the most well-known is funding scientist-initiated grants: scientists with innovative and provocative ideas apply to Autism Speaks in response to open calls for proposals. These grant proposals are read by distinguished members of our scientific advisory boards and scored for their scientific merit. The final funding recommendations are then completed by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) , which makes its decisions by prioritizing the best-ranked grants and discussing their relevance to the mission of Autism Speaks. Because our science boards cannot ever predict what proposals will be submitted by researchers, each round of funded grants is different from the last, and in this way we endure diversity and stimulation of creative ideas in all research disciplines.
The second way Autism Speaks uses your donations is through Autism Speaks-organized initiatives. As important as individual grants, initiative projects give Autism Speaks a much more proactive role in promoting specific research. The most common initiative is organizing scientific research meetings, which stimulate the field by bringing innovative thinking to the forefront and forcing the exchange of ideas much faster than it would normally occur. Other Autism Speaks initiatives include the formation of research resources, which are open-access assets that benefit the entire research community (including AGRE, ATP, IAN), and collaborative research projects between multiple scientists that leverage each others’ technical and intellectual expertise (such as AGP and the Baby Sibs Research Consortium). All of our initiatives push scientists in the field to work faster and more cohesively.
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.