Autism Speaks | NASCAR embraces families grappling with autism | May 30, 2012 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

NASCAR embraces families grappling with autism
May 30, 2012

Autism has become a household word in America, in part due to extensive awareness efforts over the past several years and mainly because of the sheer magnitude of the autism health crisis in this country.

According the data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 88 children is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

If you don’t know someone affected by autism yet, you probably will soon.
All of this awareness has helped spur research, focus public attention on the need for greater resources and services for people with autism and end the stigma long associated with this disorder.

Yet families affected by autism are still often left feeling like they are not truly part of their communities. Part of that isolation comes from the fact that it can be challenging – if not outright impossible – for families like mine to take part in activities that most take for granted.

Whether it’s going to a movie, taking the family out for a pancake breakfast, catching a baseball game or attending a town barbecue, we often decide it’s ultimately not worth taking the risk that what should be a fun outing will turn into a fiasco.

Fortunately, there is a growing movement to develop events – or modify existing ones – that take the needs of people with autism into consideration and create marvelous experiences for them.

Broadway theaters have started hosting special performances for families with autism, featuring toned- down lighting, sound and special effects, as well as quiet rooms for kids who need some time away from the action.

Movie theater chains host autism-only screenings, where parents don’t have to worry if their child screams or otherwise acts out.

I am proud to be involved with a new effort that will hopefully inspire others to follow suit. Dover International Speedway, NASCAR, FedEx and the national advocacy organization Autism Speaks are partnering to create the first autism-friendly NASCAR race experience for families.

At the June 3 “FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks” race, families with autism can attend the “Autism Speaks Day at the Races,” which will feature pre-race presentations by advocates and experts.

During the race, a dedicated quiet zone in the grandstand will allow parents to bring their kids a sensory- friendly place to get away from the crowd and noise and take in the action.
It is not realistic to expect every entertainment venue to accommodate families in this way, but it is important for organizations like NASCAR, movie theater chains and restaurants to know that doing so isn’t just a good deed – it’s also good business.

Like all families, we “vote” with our wallets and spend our limited entertainment dollars where they will bring us the best experiences.

Autism-friendly events are business-savvy, and they help develop communities that are inclusive and welcoming for all.

Artie Kempner is the lead director for NASCAR on the Fox network and a member of the Autism Speaks board of directors.


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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