Autism Speaks | Unprecedented National Town Hall Meeting Will Help Develop Policy Agenda for Addressing The Unique Needs Of Adults with Autism | Oct. 1, 2009 #AutisticHistory #BanABA

Autism Speaks is NOT an autistic ally

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

Unprecedented National Town Hall Meeting Will Help Develop Policy Agenda for Addressing The Unique Needs Of Adults with Autism

More Than 1,000 Individuals with Autism, Family Members, Advocates, Service Providers, Community Members and Elected Officials Will Gather at 16 Sites Nationwide 

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 1, 2009) – Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA), a consortium of leading autism advocacy organizations and service providers focused on addressing the increasing and unmet demand for effective services for adolescents and adults with autism, announced today that it will hold a national Town Hall meeting at sixteen different sites across the country on November 13 with the goal of developing an actionable national policy agenda for life-long living and learning with autism.

At each site, working groups – including adults with autism, family members, community members, neighbors, employers, service providers, representatives of funding and support agencies, elected officials and others – will seek to establish priorities for meeting the needs of adults with autism in several key areas, including employment, housing, safety, recreation, transportation and social opportunities. The Town Hall will be organized from a central Chicago Town Hall hub, with more than one thousand participants across the country linked via live webcast. Proposals developed during the course of the day-long session will be voted on electronically by all participants to develop a focused agenda for change.

“There is a tidal wave of children with autism who will become adults during the next decade and our society has yet to address how the need for services, jobs, housing and other opportunities to lead fulfilling and productive lives will be met,” said Peter Bell, AFAA co-chair and executive vice president of Autism Speaks. “These aren’t challenges we can keep putting off. The need for action is real and urgent, and the Town Hall is a critical step in developing an agenda that can ultimately be realized through legislation and other means of effecting change.”

“The time is now to consolidate and focus our efforts to significantly improve the quality of life available to adults with autism,” said Ilene Lainer, AFAA co-chair and executive director of the New York Center for Autism. “As a society, we have an obligation to secure a brighter future for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. By taking action now, we can ensure that adults with autism break free of the all-too-common status of dependency and become engaged, involved and ideally, tax-paying, members of their communities.” 

The prevalence of autism in the United States has increased tenfold in the last decade, from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150. With this dramatic increase has come a greater demand for effective services for adolescents and adults with autism and for accurate information on what constitutes appropriate evidence-based intervention and practice. The need continues to far exceed the available resources. The Town Hall meeting is a first step in developing a national policy to address these issues.

For information about the AFAA National Town Hall, please visit

About Autism 

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 AFAA
Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) is a national consortium seeking to create meaningful futures for adults with autism that include homes, jobs, recreation, friends and supportive communities. This unique national consortium has united to set national priorities for adults on the autism spectrum and to transform public policy and programming for teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Throughout 2009, AFAA will collect information, develop strategic solutions and advance the national agenda.  

Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, and the New York Center for Autism are the AFAA organization chairs. The AFAA partners are: Global Communities of Support; Alpine Learning Group; The Autism Program of Illinois; The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation; Easter Seals; Hallmark Community Solutions; Organization for Autism Research; Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center; and the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.

For more information, please visit


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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