[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Making a Difference in the Fight Against Autism
Doug Compton is fighting back. The father of three and a busy pharmaceutical scientist studying heart disease and cholesterol metabolism, he still finds the time, energy and emotional commitment to make a significant difference through his work with Cure Autism Now. Since the time his son Daniel, now seven, was diagnosed with autism, he has gone to incredible lengths to ensure a better future not only for his son, but for hundreds of thousands of families across the country.
When Daniel was two and a half, Doug and his wife Amy began to suspect that something was wrong. “I remember the day that Daniel was diagnosed with autism,” recalls Doug. “Amy and I took separate cars to the appointment, so I was alone in my car-crying-the entire way home.” The doctor that diagnosed Daniel gave them the number of a local support group and told them not to let Daniel’s autism consume them. Of course, from that day forward, Doug was consumed.
Feeling lost, devastated and helpless, Doug and Amy set out to learn as much about autism as they could. In 1996 they heard of a conference Cure Autism Now was hosting in New York City, and Doug went in search of answers. He found some answers and he found some hope. After the conference he waited in line for a chance to speak with Portia Iversen. He promised to do whatever he could to help.
Cure Autism Now is fortunate to have some incredibly dedicated volunteers. Typically, however, volunteers focus their efforts in one area-whether it’s the fund raising side, the science side, or legislative side. Doug, though, decided that there wasn’t just one way in which he could help. There were many.
At the beginning of his relationship with Cure Autism Now, Doug realized that his employer, Schering Plough, could be a valuable partner in CAN’s effort to begin the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). He convinced Schering Plough’s executive management of the importance of the project, and secured one of the very first $200,000 gifts that the AGRE project received.
As a board member of the New Jersey chapter of Cure Autism Now, Doug helped pass state autism legislation. The state bill, initiated by fellow New Jersey CAN members Albert Enayati, Heidi Roger, and Sallie Bernard, eventually became the Child Health Act, which dedicates $200 million to autism over the next five years. The Governor of New Jersey signed the state autism legislation in 1999, which allocated $1.5 million to autism. Doug accepted a position on the seven-member Governor’s Council that works to establish an autism program for New Jersey. Over the past year, this group has committed almost $1 million to basic autism research grants, funded the development of a pediatrician and public education program, funded a New Jersey registry, and clinical centers within the UMDNJ medical system.
For the past three years, Doug has represented Cure Autism Now at the annual Society for Neuroscience meetings. His efforts have resulted in over 400 new scientific contacts for CAN. And this year, Doug has become a member of the Cure Autism Now Scientific Review Council, an advisory board of parents of autistic children who are also scientists or clinicians, who play a vital role in shaping the scientific direction of CAN.
“Cure Autism Now has provided hope and support for me and my family. I think of the CAN family as part of my family. We only feel lost now and then. And we never feel helpless,” says Doug.
In return, Doug plays a big part in giving back some of that hope to other families. His hard work and dedication, his positive attitude, sense of humor, and willingness to get the job done serves as an incredible example of the type of people who are paving the way for effective treatments and even a cure for autism.
“Four years have passed since Daniel’s diagnosis, and he has made tremendous gains, yet he remains autistic. He is a sweet, bright child with a perplexing disability. Yet his abilities in the face of his struggle have filled my heart and changed me as a person,” Compton said.
“My commitment to autism through Cure Autism Now is done in the memory of my mother, Constance Compton, who passed away last April from cancer,” says Doug. “She always reminded me that Daniel was a gift from God, given to someone who could make a difference. On the bad days I wonder if I am that person-but most days I believe she was right. Cure Autism Now helps provide me with a mechanism to prove her right.”
We at Cure Autism Now know that his mother is right -Doug Compton is that person.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.