[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Area autism group races to raise money for research
by Monica P. Wraga
Jan. 17, 2001
Before last summer, Susan Pereles of Potomac was only vaguely familiar with the term “autism.”But then doctors diagnosed her 2-year-old nephew with the disorder, which affects one person in 500, and she learned all she could about it.
“Until my nephew was diagnosed, I had no idea how widespread it is,” Pereles said. “This really could happen to anyone.”Today’s research suggests that autism stems from a syndrome known as “mindblindness,” which prevents people from deducing what other people might comprehend. People with autism have a difficult time understanding thoughts, feelings, facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice.
Prompted by her nephew’s diagnosis, Pereles began searching for information about the disorder and a way to help. “I was despondent because there’s nothing I can do from such a distance,” said Pereles, whose nephew lives in Boston.
Pereles discovered the Mid-Atlantic chapter of Cure Autism Now, a national organization that seeks to further autism research, and offered to organize a race as a fund-raiser for the group.
“Initially, I did it as a response to the agony our family was going through,” Pereles said. “It just steam-rolled.”Today, plans are under way for the Cure Autism Now Run 2001, which will be held July 4 in Potomac Village. The event will consist of a 5K race and a one-mile run-walk. “Typically, races don’t include children and families,” Pereles said. “This disease involves children. It only makes sense to have a fund-raiser that involves them, too. By having a walk in addition to a race, all family members can participate.”
Pereles is working with both the Mid-Atlantic chapter of Cure Autism Now and an organizing board that consists of several close friends and neighbors from Potomac.”Susan and I have run together since we’ve known each other. We’ve done a number of races together,” said organizing board member Alyssa Shooshan. “This just seemed like a great idea.”The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, a foundation started by NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, has given its name in support of the race and offered to provide a signed football or jersey as a prize.Many of the committee members are bringing skills from a variety of career backgrounds to organizing the event.
“Staying at home with kids, you begin to forget what you used to do,” said Shooshan, a former Capitol Hill staff member. “It helps to have a background in this, to be able to call somebody who could ask a senator personally if they do that.”
Pereles estimated that the race has received $19,500 in cash and $1,500 in donations from sponsors like Fresh Fields, Safeway, and the Ayanian Family Foundation, a foundation run by her parents.Organizers are also targeting local businesses for donations. After expenses, Pereles hopes to raise $50,000 to benefit Cure Autism Now.
“It’s enormously important to have people like Susan doing what she’s doing,” said chapter president Stuart Spielman, a Rockville tax attorney. “If not, really nothing would get done … Since we’re all volunteers and we all have families and jobs and kids with autism, our time is in very short supply.”
Those interested in running will be able to register in April, when the organizing board will distribute at least 4,000 brochures.”I want to raise awareness and I want to raise money,” Pereles said. “We want more than runners involved. We’re looking for everybody.”
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.