Holly Robinson Peete, third from left, at the Opening Bell of the New York Stock Exchange on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2009
[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Names Actress and Advocate Holly Robinson Peete to Board of Directors
NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2009) – Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that Holly Robinson Peete – an actress, author, autism advocate and parent of a son, Rodney, who has autism – has been appointed to its board of directors. Bob Wright, chairman of the board and co-founder of Autism Speaks, announced her appointment during a recent board meeting.
Robinson Peete’s career as an actress dates back more than two decades and has included starring roles on the FOX television drama “21 Jump Street” and three other successful television series, “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” “For Your Love,” and “One on One.” An accomplished author, Robinson Peete won the 2006 Quill Literacy Award with her first book, Get Your Own Damn Beer, I’m Watching the Game: A Women’s Guide to Loving Pro Football(2005, Rodale). She will release a children’s illustrated book on autism called My Brother Charlie with co-author and daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete, in 2010 (Scholastic).
In 1996, Robinson Peete founded the HollyRod Foundation (www.hollyrod.org), whose mission is to help improve the quality of life of people dealing with devastating life circumstances. It was inspired by her father’s sad but inspiring battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Four years later, inspired by her son, hollyrod4kids was formed to focus on children’s causes and improving the lives of children affected by circumstances beyond their control. Through hollyrod4kids and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, treatment and support for families affected by autism.
One of Robinson Peete’s first official activities as a Board member was to attend the celebration of World Autism Awareness Day in New York City on April 2nd. She participated in events including the ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and took part in interviews with national and local media, discussing autism awareness, education and research, as well as the mission of Autism Speaks.
Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, are the proud parents of four children. They reside in Los Angeles.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks funds more than $30 million each year in new autism research, in addition to supporting the Autism Treatment Network, Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, Autism Clinical Trials Network, Autism Tissue Program and a range of other scientific and medical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and an award-winning, multi-year national public service advertising campaign with the Ad Council. Autism Speaks’ family services efforts include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit and the distribution of community grants to local service providers. Its government relations department, through its Autism Votes initiative, has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the federal government’s response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to require insurers to cover medically-necessary autism therapies. Each year, Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism fundraising events are held in more than 70 cities across the country, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
About the Co-Founders
Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. He also serves on the board of directors of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation and RAND Corporation. Suzanne Wright has an extensive history of active involvement in community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed toward helping children. She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and is also Trustee Emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
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.