Autism Speaks Appoints New Members to Board of Directors | Dec. 8, 2008 #AutisticHistory

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

Autism Speaks Appoints New Members to Board of Directors

Investment Banking, Television Sports and Recording Industry Executives Join Autism Speaks Leadership 

NEW YORK, NY (December 8, 2008) – Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization, today announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors: Artie Kempner, lead director for the NFL and NASCAR on FOX; Billy Mann, President of International A&R – Labels and President of Global Artist Management, EMI Music; and Jack Schneider, managing director of Allen & Co. LLC. Bob Wright, chairman of the board and co-founder of Autism Speaks, announced their appointment during a recent board meeting.

Mr. Kempner is the lead director for both the NFL and NASCAR on Fox. He joined Fox Sports in the fall of 1994 for its inaugural season covering the NFL. In 2001 Kempner and his production crew took over the number one team at Fox, working with Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth and Joe Buck. The group televised Super Bowls XXXIX and XLII. Kempner, a nine-time sports Emmy winner, is also the coordinating director of NASCAR on Fox, and directs the Sprint Cup telecasts. 

Kempner, whose middle son Ethan was diagnosed with autism in 1998, is active in fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks and Autism Delaware. He is the founding president of the Autism Society of Delaware (now Autism Delaware) and a former board member of the Autism Society of America. Kempner was recently chosen as one of the three finalists for Home Depot’s NASCAR Humanitarian of the Year award for, among other things, his efforts to establish the Fox Sports Supports program, and his involvement in bringing Autism Speaks and Dover International Raceway together to create the Autism Speaks 400.

Mr. Mann has been a successful music producer, songwriter and creative executive for 17 years. Having sold over 75 million albums with numerous Top 10 hits around the globe, Mann has produced and/or written songs for a wide range of chart-topping artists including: Pink, Jessica Simpson, Martina McBride, Kelly Rowland, Art Garfunkel, Take That, Joss Stone, Teddy Geiger, Ricky Martin, and Celine Dion, among others. During his career, Mann has also been a consultant to companies such as Sony Music, Zomba, Warner Chappell and Sony Pictures Television.

In 2001, Mann founded independent music development company Stealth Entertainment, which represents developing songwriters, producers and artists. Stealth is now owned by EMI Music. In July 2008, Mann was appointed President of EMI’s International A&R – Labels and in October added on the role of building EMI’s Global Artist Management division. Mann and his wife and three children reside happily in Connecticut. His oldest son was diagnosed with autism in 2003.

Mr. Schneider has been a managing director of the investment bank Allen & Co. LLC for more than 32 years. He has served on the board of the National Mentoring Partnership for ten years, and been chairman of the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis for 23 years. He is also involved in numerous other charitable functions throughout the year.

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 Autism Speaks 
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, 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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