[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Tuesday, June 17,1997
Sally Friedman Special to the BCT
TV STARS HELP TROUBLED CHILDREN
Funds raised in Moorestown to find a cure for autism
MOORESTOWN — They came in the name of Chad and Christopher and Susan and Louise and all the other children who are autistic, robbed of the ability to communicate, locked in the prison of their little bodies.
They came to help raise hope and, on a practical level, to raise funds for research into the mysterious ailment that is now estimated to occur in one of every 500 births.
Yesterday, about 200 people gathered at Laurel Creek Country Club at a golf outing and luncheon sponsored by Parents of Autistic Children Together (PACT), a 125-member support organization that is part of the network of the Autism Society of America. Guest speaker Nancy Glass, anchor of “American Journal” and former host of “Evening Magazine” on KYW-TV (Channel 3) was there because she, to, is a mother and because of her close ties to Marciarose Shestack, a pioneering broadcast journalist and the first woman to anchor a prime-time television newscast in a major market, when she worked at KYW-TV in the 1970s.
Shestack is also the grandmother of a 5-year-old autistic child. Autism is a disorder that leaves its victims marked by behavior that can include self-absorption, repetitive actions and speech dysfunction. Shestack’s son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan Shestack and Portia Iversen, the parents of that child, are the founders of Cure Autism Now, a national organization based in California. Proceeds from yesterday’s golf outing will benefit fund-raising efforts for significant medical research into autism, which usually strikes during the first or second year of life, often suddenly.
“Our grandson Dov was like any other child until he was about a year old, and things began changing,” Shestack said.”Then,” as his mother expressed it, “this beautiful, lovable little boy began ‘vanishing’ before our eyes. It changed all our lives.”
Describing Glass as a “funny, warm, generous and intensely loyal friend,” Shestack introduced her to an audience that clearly welcomed her often self deprecating humor about her own career in broadcast journalism. Glass recently ended her relationship with “American Journal.” I was told that I’m not pretty enough to be threatening to women, that I talk too fast, that I talk too slow, that I should try to be big and bright or small and sober,” said Glass, who ultimately resolved to be exactly who she is.
Despite interviews with superstars like Roseanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Philadelphia resident said yesterday that her most important work is as mother to Max, 10 and Sloane, 4. “We’re thrilled with the success of this event, thanks to the presence of Nancy and Marciarose,” said Catherine Medovich of Evesham, Cure Autism Now member and the mother of an autistic son Nicholas, 5. After Nicholas’ diagnosis at about 2, when “he started to disappear on us,losing the little language that he had,” Medovich immediatly sought intervention, and continues to be her son’s champion.”We need to make more and more people aware of what autism is, and that there is hope,” said Medovich.
More With Cure Autism Now
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.